Scottish Novice Degree: Illuminatus Major (Greater Illuminatus Degree)
Translated by Jeva Singh-Anand, edited by Josef Waeges and Reinhard Markner (draft version)
This degree includes not only the initiation ritual, but also the requirement for admission to the Greater Illuminatus degree — including three very lengthy questionnaires, expected to be completed by the candidate’s peers-to-be — the ritual to be performed during a regular Scottish Novice lodge, as well as the general work conducted by members of this degree.
This document is part of a translation effort of the entire Illuminati ritual, currently under the working title Ritual & Doctrine of the Illuminati. While I am serving as the project’s translator, the efforts of Josef Waeges and Reinhard Markner deserve special recognition. Waeges has spent countless hours editing the translated documents. Markner has not only co-edited the work, but he has also added previously unpublished material to this project.
Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830) founded the Bavarian Illuminati in 1776. The order was initially called “Perfectibilists,” a term borrowed from Roussau. However, Weishaupt soon changed the order’s name to “Illuminati,” as he felt “Perfectibilists” was too cumbersome a name. The order’s stated goal was to reconcile humanity with its creator by means of a gradual regimen of moral and scientific education.
The Greater Illuminatus. (Illuminatus Major.) 
There are two types of lodges in this degree: lodges for regular work and lodges for initiations. The former are held in a room which is not decorated any differently than the officers’ lodges. The members are seated exactly thus in Scottish Masonic apparel, that is, with green aprons and the Lodge Jewel in the button hole, in their order around a table. The Worshipful Master, the two Wardens, and the Secret Secretary are the same persons who occupy such offices in the higher degree, or Directing Illuminatus, and they sit at their usual places.
We will speak more of the Initiatory Lodges and their décor later. Both lodges are opened and closed in the following manner, the catechism is demanded in each lodge, and the pass phrase for the entire Order is given.
I. Opening the Scott. Br.Br. Lodge.
Worshipful Master. All is well, my Brothers.
1st Warden repeats.
2nd W. also repeats this.
(The Br.Br. line up in the sign.)
WM. Worshipf. Br. 1st Warden! Where does the Scottish Freemason work?
1st SW. In a holy place, in the still of the night, far away from the noise of the world, and safe from the ears of Cowans.
WM. Worshipf. Br. 2nd W. See to it that we can work here safely.
2nd SW. (goes about, sees to it that everything is secure, closes the doors and returns) WM , the Lodge is tiled.
WM. Br. 1st SW. What time is it?
1st SW. Midnight exactly.
WM. Br. 2nd SW. Is this the holy hour of opening the Lodge?
2nd SW. Yes, WM.
WM. Thus I open this Scott. Lodge of Brothers in the name of the Worshipf. Chiefs by the holy Scottish number
1st SW. (gives these knocks)
2nd SW. (also)
WM. My Brothers, this Lodge is opened.
Questions. Are you a Scottish Freemason?
Answer. Noble persons accepted me among themselves when I was an orphan and did not know my father.
Q. Where were you accepted?
A. In a solemn, dark, and holy place, before the door to the sanctum.
Q. At what time?
A. In the dark of the night, during the moon’s first quarter.
Q. Who approached you?
A. The peaceful crowd of the Illuminated Ones.
Q. Did you know these persons?
A. No! I did not know them, but they knew me and loved me, and I dedicated a faithful and trusting heart to them.
Q. Whence did you come?
A. From the world of the first Elect.
Q. Where are you going?
A. To the Holy of Holies.
Q. Whom do you seek there?
A. Him who is there, was there, and will forever be there.
Q. What illuminates you?
A. The light that dwells within me and has now been lit.
Q. What did you see when the light was given to you?
A. I looked upon the Earth and I saw the humans naked and unclothed; but they were ashamed of their nakedness.
Q. What have you been bid to do?
A. I was taught to know, love, and govern myself and others.
Q. Who is your Master?
WM. Does anyone else have anything to offer for the good of the Order?
(The First W answers)
WM. Worshipf. Br. 1st W. What time is it?
1st SW. It is high noon.
WM. Is this the right time, Br. 2nd W, to close this Scott. Lodge?
2nd SW. Yes, it is the right time.
WM. I thus close this Lodge in the name of our Worshipf. Chiefs by this holy Scott. number,
(The Br. Br. 1st and 2nd W repeat these knocks.)
WM. My Brothers, this Lodge is closed.
- It should be held at least once a month, not including the initiation lodges.
- In this lodge, the tables about the members of the Lower Class, if such have been submitted by the Assembly of the Lesser Illuminati, are corrected, expanded, and sent to the Assembly of the Directing Illuminati.
- All matters concerning the Minerval Assemblies, promotions in the lower degrees, etc. are decided here, or if the matter is too important, they are reported to the Directing Illuminati; thus, they are also provided with all tables and Reverses.
- Everything every member of this degree learns and which concerns the higher Order, Freemasonry, or other societies, the Brothers’ promotion in civic offices and positions of honor, or anything that may relate to such matters, must be indicated in these assemblies, where it is recorded in the minutes and reported to the other Superiors.
- The members of this degree should primarily instruct those Brethren tasked with recruiting new members; for this, Addendum A, except the Lesson contained in the Minerval files, is used.
- But the main work of this degree is the more precise analysis of the characters according to Addendum B.
- If one of the Lesser Illuminati distinguishes himself through excellence and begins to make himself worthy of promotion, his character is investigated according to each of these question in the Scottish working lodge. One must have a decisive answer on this point before one can think of a promotion; and if one has not been able to investigate an item, one of the members is tasked to focus his observations on this point. Everything is recorded in the various gatherings, and in the end, the entire picture of the man is put together from these observations and then submitted to the Directing Illuminati.
It depends on the Master, whether or not he wants to have this characterization performed by a select committee from time to time.
In Philo’s Reply to Questions Concerning His Association with the Illuminati, Baron Adolph Knigge explained that the extensive questions catalog in Addenda A, B, and C were intended not only to gather information about a candidate’s suitability for this degree, but also to provide those members occupying themselves with the study of psychology with authentic research material. This claim is confirmed in the Priest, (or Presbyter) degree, which was tasked with directing and coordinating the order’s academic pursuits.
Secret instruction for those tasked with recruiting new members to the Order.
- He who wants to bring a new member to the Order, must first secure its perfect trust and love.
- He must conduct himself in such a manner that one should assume hidden qualities within him.
- He should gradually attempt to stir in the Candidate a yearning for friendly and secret connections, and this approximately in the following manner:
- He should give him access to books that speak of unity and strength in shared endeavors.
- He should also steer his conversations to this matter and show him how helpless a little child is and how weak also the grown man is without help from others and how great, and how powerful he can become with the aid of his fellow men, how important the advantages of social life are.
- He should deduce to him that all power comes from the unity of will.
- He should focus his attention on the art of knowing and governing people.
- He should demonstrate to him how a single wise man can govern and guide a thousand persons.
- He should provide examples of what subjects can accomplish when they are pitched to the same tune, such as armies.
- Then, however, he should speak of the flaws of civil society, how faithlessly human beings act toward one another, how everyone is guided by his own personal interest, and how poorly one can often rely on friends and family.
- “Yea, he shall exclaim from time to time, ‘If the good only were united, they could build Heaven on Earth. But better men are only so weak, because they do not know themselves or are disunited.’”
- Following this, it is time to make him understand what secret societies can accomplish.
- He should show him the example of the Jesuits and the Freemasons. When the conversation turns to great world events, he should always tell him that these are governed by secret mainsprings, and who knows if this was not the work of such secret Orders.
- He should awaken in him a yearning to rule in secret, to research everything without being noticed, always giving the world a new direction from his chamber, to rule those who believe themselves to be his masters.
- From time to time, he should speak ambiguously, as if he knew such an Order, but at other times, he should be silent. On other occasions he should say, “If I had the opportunity to join such an order, I would do so immediately.”
- All this must be repeated often.
- Then he should suddenly say, “I have finally found that for which I have wished for so long: one wants to accept me into such an Order. What do you suggest?” One should then make plans he may fashion himself and discuss them, asking him for his opinion.
- One should place a letter written in cypher where it can be seen.
- The Candidate should be a Christian, honest, sensitive, not stupid, nor older than the recruiter, and generally, between 18 and 30 years old.
- If he now petitions, one should present the matter to him as extremely difficult, and one should reveal it only by and by: but one should only give him as few written documents as possible, at least only for a brief time!
- And then one should surprise him as he picks up these papers.
- One should have him suggest other persons as well, make character sketches, etc.
- One should explore his other relationships.
- One should let him suspect that his best friends may already be in the Order.
- If someone who has been accepted into the Order, or seeks admittance, wants to know a member’s name, one should never name an important Superior, but always a respected and good man.
- However, one must know how to administer the medicine according to each person’s constitution and therefore place a name with the Order that has an effect on the Candidate. One may seek a new kind of Freemasonry and another a learned society, while a different man seeks the Rosicrucians and still another political connections. Every man must find what he seeks. The Order can accomplish everything, and it does not work under the same name in all countries.
- All these things must be reported to the Superiors.
- Every Ill. Major may copy these instructions by hand.
Questions used for assessing the character of a candidate for this degree.
I. His person.
- What is his name?
- His age, date of birth?
- His fatherland? location?
- His figure? Slim, fat, or medium? Slender or misshapen? Does he have an ailment? if so, which? One-eyed, deaf, stuttering, bowed, limping, hunchbacked, crooked, cross-eyed?
- Physiognomy. Facial color, strong or weak? Pale, black, blonde, yellowish, brownish? The gaze sharp, penetrating, dull, straight, languishing, lovelorn, proud, sparkling, beaten down? When he speaks, does he look at people rigidly, happily or haltingly, or does he shy away? Can he withstand a sharp stare or does he look aside deceitfully, or openly, freely, cheerfully, or sinister, profoundly, or wandering, blankly, cordially, or seriously or is his gaze uplifted? How is his physiognomy, by the way? How is his silhouette? How is the nose, the brow? Perpendicular, protruding, or receding, short or tall, square, round, oval, etc.? Does he furrow his brow, and does he do so horizontally or perpendicularly?
- His hair. Is the color light or dark brown, or black, blond, reddish, or fiery? The thickness? Thick or thin, long, short, curly, plain, hard, or soft?
- His voice. Manly, lovely, childlike, deep, high, singing, stretched, weak, strong, dissonant, declaiming, gentle, sweet, flowing, stuttering, changing, rising, falling, or monotonous?
- His manners. Noble or common? Free or modest, forced or at ease? How does he bear his head? Erect, thrown back, drooping, to the side, wavering, or stiff? Does he look around? Does he throw his head about strongly, does he retract it between his shoulders?
- His gait. Slow, quick, sedate, short or long, dragging, slothful, skipping, dancing, stomping, rising with bent knees, inward, outward, pushing, creeping, quick, slow, alternating, wavering, his body leaning forward or backward, does he look at his feet, does he gesticulate with his hands while walking? Does he throw his head back when doing so?
- His general health. Is he often or continuously sick? From which illnesses does he suffer the most?
- Speech, presentation. Orderly or disorderly, jumbled? Does he use his hands when speaking, and how? Ceaselessly or intermittently? Fervently with his head? His whole body? Does he physically impose himself on others? Does he touch them by their arms, clothes, or buttons? Is his presentation quick, slow, thoughtful, oratorical, arrogant? Does he speak little or much, is he wholly silent and if so, why? Out of modesty, ignorance, reverence, or sloth? To probe others, hide his weakness, to gain respect, out of pride or contempt? Is his speech pure or provincial?
II. Upbringing, Education, Culture, Gifts.
- To whom does he owe them? Was he always under the supervision of his parents? How was his upbringing in general? Who were his teachers? Does he treasure them? To whom does he believe he owes his education? Has he traveled? If so, where?
- Languages. Which languages does he understand, speak, write? And how? Does he love foreign languages more than his mother tongue? Does he mix foreign words into his speech? What is his style?
- Sciences. In which sciences is he experienced? Which does he not know? Which sciences does he love? Does he delve deeply into them? Does he love the beautiful arts? Which ones?
- Is he gifted, and in what areas? Poetry or philosophy? Imagination? Mechanics? Esprit de détail? Is he an artistic genius? Does he fashion small cardboard boxes, does he whittle, sow, plant, style his own hair, etc.?
- Is he skilled? In athletics, trades, mechanics? Is he strong? Dexterous, nimble, quick, for physical exercise, parlor tricks, etc.?
- Attentiveness to other people. Does he mostly look at the heart, mind, character, direction, outward manners, morals, cleanliness, way of thinking, religion?
III. His spirit.
- Skills. Does he penetrate deeply? Is he fast, slow, overlooking, foresighted, does he have a lively imagination or is he coldly calculating? Does he have presence of the mind? Is he surprised by bold inspirations? Does he show wit, thoroughness, and keen insight during conversations?
- Judgment. Does he have many judgments? Is he gullible, does he love wonder? Paradox, or does he share common opinions? Which prejudices does he cultivate? Age, religion, childhood, nation, state, status, authority, generality, novelty? Does he seek to lay them down here? Is he easily prejudiced for or against people without having tested them?
- Direction? In what things does he place his happiness? In peace of mind in business matters? In prestige, power, honor, in sensual pleasures, riches, sciences, virtue, truth? Does consider the future, the past, or only the present? Is he merely satisfied with small plans? Does he often see the distant greatness in small matters? Is he capable of making, thinking, feeling, and executing grand designs? Does he attempt to distinguish himself from others and if so, how? Through that which is grand and extraordinary? In good or evil, or in both? Does he have a high opinion of himself, and in which part? Does he deal justly with others? Is he obstinate, or can he be easily convinced? Does he treasure finesse in thought? Does he try to be original or does he think after others? Does he think himself infallible? Does he have experience of his own? Does he accept reprimands? Does he hate people? Why? Because they are better than he? Because he finds them below his ideal? Because he does not believe himself to be honored sufficiently? Because he has been betrayed often? Because he judges them unworthy of him too quickly? Where are his priorities when it comes to marriage? A good heart, intellect, economics, beauty, gold, family, promotion, power? Does he love his body, his health? Is he soft, sensitive, pampered, dreamy? Does he fear death? Does he easily comprehend the opinions of others? What motivates him to work and activity? Love of leisureliness? Quiet? Power? Prestige, honor, sensual pleasure? Money? Does he value honor, respect, approval? How does he seek to earn them? Is he hurt by contempt? Does he seek to rise higher? To what? By which means? Through women? Money? Harming his neighbor who stands in his way? Merit, science, zeal, intrigues, ignominy? Which side does he take when there are two factions? The weaker or the stronger, the wise one or the foolish one? But if the weaker suddenly gains the upper hand, does he stay true to his principles? Or does he prefer to form a third faction? Will he feel both parties are in the wrong, or will he attempt to reconcile them, be the mediator, or will he remain entirely neutral? Is he firm in executing his intent; do difficulties deter him? How can one most easily win his respect and friendship? By praise, flattery, dissimulation, silence, by enduring everything, by ignominy, submission, money, women, hate and respect for those whom he hates and respects? Through his mistresses, servants, recommendation of his protégées? Is he suspicious, mistrustful, mysterious, reserved, gullible, open hearted? Does he enjoy speaking of his plan? Does he only wish for lively pleasures? Or does he amuse himself with moderate joys? Does he always want to have pleasure, or does he also love scarcity so that he may enjoy pleasurable things better? Does he also suffer weaker persons, and is he patient when dealing with them? Is he curious, meddlesome?
IV. His heart.
- Disposition. Is he as prescribed in the Lesser Illuminatus degree? Or is he lacking? Is he straightforward in his actions, or does he like to dissemble? Against whom? On what occasions? In what parts? Why? Does the fate of others interest him? The general good? Or does he only care about himself? Does he enjoy working earnestly for the general welfare? Even at the expense of his own pleasure? Does he use the opportunity to do good? To do great things without self-interest? Is he righteous in his actions? Even when he is not noticed? Will he not be deterred in this by threats, caresses, respect, money, women, disfavor, persecution, misfortune, enmity, friendship, hate, vengefulness, promises, promotion, when he can do the opposite without punishment? When in pain, is he verbose, talkative, or is he still, silent? Is his pain enduring, or is he happy, cheerful?
- Passions. Does he have strong passions? Which does he indulge the most? Can he resist a present, lively sensual impression? Is he inclined to melancholy caused by passion, or is this merely his temper? Is he miserly, or is he inclined to wastefulness? And what kind? Does he love the hunt? Which hunt? Does he enjoy hearing, seeing stories of murder?
V. Performance, Habits, Actions.
- When speaking. Does he like to bring up the minutest circumstances when speaking? Does he like to contradict others? Does he like to interrupt others? Does he stay on topic, or does he speak of several disconnected things over a short period of time? Does he become heated in the course of the conversation, or does he remain the same? During a conversation, does he distinguish between people to whom he is speaking? Does he like to demonstrate? Does he often refer to the respectability of others instead of giving proof? Are his expressions authoritative, crude, straightforward? Is he a know it all? Are things sensible persons find difficult easy for him? Does he like to reprimand others with composure, seriousness, courtesy, in a needling manner, with bitterness, curtness, emphasis? Does he let others expect his reprimands until he issues them? Does he like to entrust his own people, strangers with secrets? Ideas? At the very beginning of the acquaintance? How does he speak to his servants? Almost nothing, curtly, dictatorially? Jokingly, confidentially? Does he argue with them over minor infractions? Does he give him a full account of his crimes, even though this may appear to him as crude and faithless? Does he look his friends in the eye when he tells them of their families’ misfortunes? Does he like to remind them of unpleasant things? Does he like to embarrass people? Does he like to tease? Does he like to gloss over the mistakes of others? Does he seek to uncover his friends’ weaknesses in the presence of strangers? How does he speak of his benefactors? Well, gratefully? Does he also declare them to others as such, or is he ashamed of the welfare he has received? Is he also grateful when he no longer needs his benefactor? If he stands in his way against his knowledge and will? Does he often speak of his wife and children and if so, how? Does he like to laugh? About his own ideas or those of others? Rarely, often, hard, briefly, hesitatingly, about every trifle? Does he like to offer his services, even to those he does not yet know? Those whom he neither can nor wishes to? Even his enemies? How does he speak of nobility? Of princes? Of authorities? Disdainfully, reverently, well, ill, as they deserve? Only well, or does he also speak of their flaws? Only ill, even if they have virtues? How does he speak to noble persons? Coweringly, reverently, with familiarity? Does he praise their follies, even crimes, to please them? Does he always agree with them? How does he speak of the lower classes? Disdainfully, despotically, indulgently, justly? How does he speak with lesser persons, with subordinates? Willingly, unwillingly, often, rarely? Only in the absence of better society? Only when he needs them, and generally rarely, or does he even pretend he does not know them? Is he friendly toward them, condescending, even in the presence of nobles? Only to make himself popular with the greater masses? To draw close to the common man? To give an example to the nobles? To temper their pride? To make nobles hated, themselves popular? To honor merit in the lower classes, as well? To bring this to the attention of great persons? Does he speak with the proudly, despotically, with familiarity, or fitting to his and their status? Does he say yes to everything? Out of fear, flattery, for political reasons? To probe others? Out of stupidity? About what does he like to speak the most? Of himself? Of corrupt times? Of money, interest rates, usury, of his trade, of economics, state affairs, religious matters, free thought, piety, prayer, sciences, the flaws and deficiencies of others, news, trifles, fashion, finery, clothes, the favor of powerful men, discrimination, his correspondence with higher persons? Of love, women, food, drink, wine, games, hunting, court intrigues? Does he like to vilify and if so, what? Religion, superstition, hypocrisy, fanaticism, intolerance, heads of state, ministers, priests, monks, nobility, the military, critics, social classes, vanity, the evils of the world, blasphemers, those who revile the clergy, abuses in his own church, wastefulness, splendor, or the friends of those with whom he is speaking, even if he knows they are their friends? Of unrewarded merit? Of Authorities or eloquence, philosophy, innovations? Of his own friends and relatives? Of all social classes and worldly institutions? Or of himself and if so, why? To be praised? To probe others and to discover what they think of him? So that they can apologize? To demonstrate impartiality and self-knowledge? Does he constantly revile? With all, without distinction, or only with certain people? At certain times? And if so, which? When and why? Out of habit, natural malice, to injure, defame, to persuade others, to probe, to reveal himself, to have something to say, to anger others, to make them wrathful? To entertain, out of insight, zeal for the good cause? Out of carelessness, foolishness, anger, vengefulness, fanaticism, patriotism, stupidity? Are his insults merely words, or reasoned, or mockeries? Which conversations does he avoid, and in which conversations is he entirely silent? Does he speak of all? Does he lecture in his discourse, and does he also like to ask questions? Does he exaggerate, does he curse, does he swear to God when he speaks? Does he let others speak, as well? Is his presentation vivid, sensual, decisive, weak, expressive, laconic, verbose, declamatory, exciting, moody, dark, clear, mystical, mysterious, true, untrue? Does he act mysteriously, does he call people to the side, or does he like to whisper in the ear? Does he pretend to already have knowledge of the matter? Does he like to joke and needle? Does he become heated when he contradicts? Does he like to give in or does he resist? Does he accept reasons? Does he like to decide quickly? Does retract his original judgment when he recognizes it as flawed? Does he like to make commitments? Does he like to praise? Does he like to make assurances of friendship? Does he boast of others in their presence? Praise qualities he knows they do not have? Does he seek to say crude things to them? Does he like to admire? What? Even everyday things? Does he revile at other times those things he praised elsewhere? Does he ask one after the other? Does he have finesse when giving praise? Does he also praise his enemies? For what? Why? To whom? Are his speech and judgment consistent? Which of his own qualities does he praise? Beauty, intellect, a kind heart, wit, physical skill, manners, taste, moderation, bravery, courage, fame, devotion, religion, zeal, justice, status, impartiality, unselfishness, vice, crime, nobility, family, good fortune, wealth? Does he like to make promises, and does he keep them? Does he like to offer advice? Is he infatuated with his wit and ideas? Does he repeat them often? At every opportunity? Does the time until he shares them seem long to him? Does he present other persons’ ideas as his own? Does he like to repeat himself ad nauseam? Does he like to speak crudely, using uncouth and obscene words, no matter who is present?
- His writing. What is his style? In his letters? His books? Has he published anything? Why? Of what value? What principles does he teach in his writings? Does he like to read his writings to others, even if they do not want to hear them? What reputation, what effects do his writings have?
- His actions. How does he act when he is angry and irate? Which people does he hate? Why? What upsets him? Trifles, contradiction, praise, reprimand, despite? Accusations? Which of these upsets him the most? Fickleness, the slow pace of others, obliteration of his intentions, malice, injustice, false accusations? General depression, stupidity, injustice, obscene and libertine conversations? His fatherland’s and benefactor’s rebuke or ingratitude? If his earnestness is met with farces, and he is ridiculed? Can he hide his anger? How does he conduct himself when his heated temper is met with kindness or indifference? How does he express his anger? Often, lightly, all at once after some time has passed, by swearing, cynicism, contempt, degradation, slander, or other shameful actions? Can he forgive insults? How can he be reconciled? Is his reconciliation honest or feigned? How does he love? Can he hide it? What does he love? Pleasure, leisure, marriage, intrigues? Does he spend money on what he loves? What kind of women does he love? His equals? Married, noble, or common women? The first, the best, the romantic, emotional? Does he like to change his mind when loving? Does he stray? Even when he is married? Is his inclination conspicuous? How does he treat his beloved during a break up? Is he jealous? Can he control himself in love? Does he neglect his work and obligations to please the object of his love? Does he seek out every opportunity to speak with his beloved, or does he speak with her only during certain hours? Has he chosen these hours himself? Do his beloved’s antics expose him to ridicule? In love, is he fanciful, sensitive and romantic, but blind to this woman’s flaws? How does he act toward the servants? Does he employ more people than necessary, or fewer? Does he plague them with excessive work? Does he pay them too much or too little? Does he watch their every move? Is he unapproachable to the servants? Does he hold them accountable? Do they like working for him, and how long do they stay in his employ? Why do they resign? Why are they dismissed? Does he treat them with seriousness, kindness, or beatings? How does he treat old and infirm domestics? What do his former house servants say about him? How does he speak about his former employees? Does he enjoy company? Why? Out of curiosity, pertness, to be educated, to know people and the world? To teach others, or only to be known and famous? To pry? For intrigues? Out of vanity? Boredom? To climb the social ladder? To slander or overthrow others? What people are his preferred company? The noble, religious, common, educated, lustful, vain, heated, kind, slothful, ignorant, old, young women, beautiful or ugly ones? All, without distinction? Many or a select few? Has he chosen his own company, or does his office, his circumstances, lack or different and better persons, or society force it on him? Does he like to socialize with people of his social class? What reputation, tastes, governing passions do his closest associates have? Does he love the company of people from whom he can learn or of those he can teach? In his social interactions, is he accommodating, very indulging, trusting, modest, daft, well-mannered, or is he not? Does he prefer the company of serious or cheerful people? Does he like to receive visitors? All kinds of people? Out of vanity, joviality? Does he keep visitors from going about their business? How does he treat people who detain him too long, or arrive at inopportune times? Does he dismiss them? Excuse himself with business matters? Does he begin to speak more of trivial matters with them, or less? Does he leave or stay when he realizes his visit is becoming burdensome to others? Does he love solitude? Why? Because he is in love? Because he loves work? Out of piety, fear of temptation, a tendency for melancholy, misanthropy, pride, to forge hidden intrigues? Love of peace and quiet? Leisureliness after a long day’s work? Because he has no qualities that make him pleasant in the company of others? Out of poverty, ambition, or because he wants to be sought out? For economic reasons? Out of hypochondria, illness? Does he seek solitude some times, and company other times? What is his conduct toward his betters? Does he seek them out before he seeks out others? Does he maintain the ceremonial, or does he treat them as equals? Does he abuse their benevolence? Does he become familiar? Does he stoop below his dignity, his station, even resort to flattery and baseness? Does he allow himself to be used as a tool for their purposes? As a spy for intrigues? Does he know how to make himself indispensable to them? By what means? Through insights? By researching their personal and family secrets? Their weaknesses? How does he bear their abuses, their disdain, contempt? Do they upset him? Does he discontinue his service, or does he pretend not to notice? And if this happens more frequently, does he let this bother him? Does he do their business free of charge? Does he also flatter their relatives? Domestics? Does he lend them money? Does he allow even their domestic servants to treat him below his standing in order to gain something from their lords? Or to be invited to a meal? Does he kowtow to them? Does he hate those whom the lordships also despise? Does he treat them with hostility, even though they have not insulted him? Does he seek to learn the secrets of the great? Does he run after them, or does he wait until he is called upon? Does he imitate their mannerisms and habits? Why does he seek the company of this or that great person? How does he conduct himself toward a great man who has fallen, or toward him who can no longer help him? How does he treat his equals, especially his friends? Does he have many friends? Which ones? Is his friendship close, tender, faithful? Can he exercise moderation when his friends indulge in excessive pleasures? How does he speak of his former friends? Of those who are absent? Is he demanding with his friends? What does he require of them: money, help, recommendations, instruction, entertainment? Does he require that they love and hate what he loves and hates? Does he demand praise, admiration, approval? Does he want everything to go his way? Does he also do them favors? Even if this causes him hardship? Does he quarrel with them? Why? Can he be easily reconciled with them? How does he conduct himself during the breakup? Is he careless when making friends, or does he test his people first? Does he immediately share his secrets with them, which could cause them to be dangerous to him, or does he withhold them? What does he say when absent friends are slandered? Does he love change? Is he indulging toward them? Does he oblige them? Is he ready to serve, or does he like to make excuses, or does he delay his favors? Does he return favors? Does he list his services when reproaching? How does he act toward them in good fortune? When his condition is splendid? How, when they are unhappy? Is he ashamed of them? Does he shun them? Does he join in the slander against them? Does he deny any familiarity with them? Rebuke them harshly? Deny them any help, advice, patience, recommendations, support, protection? How does he conduct himself in the company of those, where they are not considered excellent or not well respected? Does he abandon them due to accusations against them? The displeasure of superiors? Persecution? What must cause the friend’s misfortune so that he would be ashamed of them? How does he conduct himself during his friends’ good fortune, when they become his equals or more noble? With envy or joy? Does he easily believe what others say against his friends? Does he immediately condemn them, or does he speak to them first? How does he conduct himself when his friend has betrayed him? How does he conduct himself toward lesser men? Are they his favorite company or does he hate and shun them? Does he encounter them with familiarity? Pride? With harsh expressions? Does he know how to make their standing bearable? Does he treat lesser men as he treats his equals or betters? Does he know the worth of the lower classes? Is he harsh toward his subordinates or forgiving, or excessive with demands, dues? Does he give due honor to every social class, every person, every office? For what reason? Out of his conviction in duty, out of fear, or out of craftiness? Does he live to please his domestics? Does he shun them? How does he treat his debtors? His creditors? Does he make his payments faithfully? Does he seek to pay off old debts by and by, or does he accumulate new debts? How does he conduct himself when he finds someone else’s error? Does he pretend to not notice? Does he use their weakness to promote his own intentions? To obtain their services? Does he threaten exposure? Does he laugh loudly about this? Does he gossip about it? Does he treat it with indifference? Does he not seek to take advantage of it? Does he seek to hide the flaws of others? Does he warn of future flaws? How does he treat persons whom he has shown his weaknesses and who know his most secret affairs out either in passing or out of vanity, carelessness, or necessity? Does he hate them for this? Does he shun them? Is he at their mercy for this? Does he continue to trust them? Does he seek to stir disbelief in them? Does he treat them with pride, mistrust, insults? How does he treat those who follow other religious practices? Does he love them or hate them? Does he shy away from being seen with them in public? Or does he seek out their company? How does he conduct himself when suffering, in misfortune, during persecution? Is he steadfast, patient, soft, dejected, fierce, or does he despair? Is he proud of his wealth? Is he ashamed of his poverty? Does he want to appear rich, or does he make no secret of his circumstances? How does he conduct himself when his parents, wife, relatives, friends, benefactors, enemies die? Does he wish them death, life? Why? How does he deal with insults? With silence, composure, kind words, excuses, vehemence, counter insults, slander, betrayal, despite? How does he raise his children? What are his plans for them? How does he live with his wife? How does he treat her? In public and in secret? What is his conduct when eating, drinking? Moderate? For what reason? Out of lack, poverty, miserliness, love of life and health, sense of duty, to be better suited for his work? Out of piety, vanity, or because it is his nature? How does he conduct himself at the tables of others? Does he like to sit with them? Is he also hospitable? Is he gluttonous? Does he eat quickly or slowly? What does he like to eat and drink? Does he prefer to eat alone? And if this is the case, does he like to be waited on like a lord? Does he love delicacies? Does he need to have everything first? How many meals does he eat in a day? Has he succumbed to drink? Is he drunk often, and when he is, what is his conduct? Quarrelsome, crude, in love, talkative, cheerful, good, faithful, brave, cunning, ill-mannered, lazy, lethargic? Does he coerce others to drink? Does he frequently visit inns? Is he a habitual drinker? Does he like to speak of it often? Does he love such company? Does he love dogs? Does he own dogs? How does he treat these animals? Horses? Does he like to break, tear up, or ruin things? Does he smoke, use tobacco? What other habits does he have?
VI. External Circumstance, Way of Life, Relationships.
- Wealth. How much income? How much is expected? Debts? Many? From what causes? Poverty, lack, salary due his station, to live a libertine’s life? To appear generous?
- Social Status.
- Reputation, good or ill? With what kind of persons, wise or ignorant?
- Religion. What faith does he profess? It he zealous, lukewarm, fearful, superstitious? Does he properly participate in the external service? How does he conduct himself in the churches of other denominations?
- Connections. Who are his parents? What is their philosophy? Are they still alive? From which ailment did they die? Does he have many relatives? Does he practice nepotism? Does he have a wife? Who, how is she? How did he obtain her? At what age? Does he have children? How many, what ages?
- Activities. How is his conduct in his business affairs, his work? Careless and lazy? Diligent, punctual, faithful? Does he like to procrastinate? Which business matters does he prefer? Only official business matters or others, as well? Does he accept tasks by which he can distinguish himself? Also continuing, protracted ones? Does he not tire of them, become annoyed, timid, even in the face of difficulties and danger and when success is very doubtful? Does he like to skip from task to task? Does he seek to improve his office, to excel over others? Does he like inventing? Implementing his inventions? What is his conduct after failed attempts? Does he work fast, easily, hastily, tediously, solidly? Does he have no books? Many? Few? In which topic does he have the most books? A little of everything? Prayer and meditation books, legends, postils, political anecdotes, novels, theater plays, alchemy, Freemasonry, Kabala, Theosophy, other mystical topics, his trade, military, economic, juristic, theological, obscure, free thought, scholastic, the newest, or older ones? Has he bought them himself? On his own accord or the advice of others? Are they well worn? Does he lend them out to others? Does he enjoy reading? Does he read often, and at what times? For long periods? Which authors does he read the most? What is his favorite book? How does he pass the time? Does he like games? What kind? Hazard-playing? Games of intellect? Commerce? Games that are used for education and instruction? Where he can demonstrate his wit? For money or not for money? Large sums? Is he lucky or unlucky? Does he play out of habit, courtesy, leisure, profit seeking, poverty, to make acquaintances, to be respected? How does he conduct himself, when he wins or loses? Is he quarrelsome, derisive, dishonest? Can he use moderation when losing? Does he retire from the game once he has won? Does he deny having won? And does he claim to have always lost? How does he utilize periods of solitude? With prayer, reading, writing, studying, trifles, with his house mates, for domestic affairs, plans, design, idleness?
- Correspondence. Does he maintain a large amount of correspondence? With whom? Does he reply properly? How does he keep his letters? Do they lie about? Does he leave the torn pieces of paper lying about?
- Sleep. Does he enjoy sleeping, long, often, out of laziness, illness, or why? How is he when awakened from his sleep? Is he easily wakened? How is he when awakened suddenly? Does he speak in his sleep, does he dream, and how?
- Attire, Dwelling. Is his clothing neat, disheveled, clean, dirty, torn, magnificent, above or below his social status? Alternating, diverse, grandfatherly, fashionable? What colors does he love, bright ones, simple ones? When one meets him at home, is he dressed magnificently, or how? Does he wear a garment for long periods of time? Does he perhaps wear second-hand clothes? Is he the first to join a new fashion trend? Does he change his attire, depending on the time of day, location, situation, persons? How is his house, chamber arranged? Is it essential, useful, excessive? Is his furniture suited to his status? On what does he spend the most money? Kitchen utensils, tables, pictures, books, chairs, hunting equipment? Cellar, linens, fashion accessories, silver, wallpaper, things that catch the eye? Things that are useful and durable? Is his furniture good, tasteful, selected, orderly, clean? Even the furniture he uses every day? Is everything orderly, or does everything stand, lie about? Is his orderliness too fearful?
Nosce te ipsum.
What/who is/are his
- name, last name.
- relatives, friends, enemies.
- Where are his
- Which sciences does he prefer?
- Where are his
- How was his upbringing?
- Single or married?
- With or without children?
- What office, or how did he attain it?
- How does he perform it?
- How does his house, chamber look?
- How is his nature?
- What does his head look like? How does he bear it
- eyes, gaze.
- Hair. Color.
- What is His Reputation?
- At the time.
- What was he like?
- With great men.
- With lesser persons.
- How does he act when with his parents?
- Father, mother.
- When with them or from a distance?
- Benefactors, patrons.
- Great men, nobles.
- Face to face.
- From a distance.
- His equals
- Face to face.
- From a distance.
- His wife.
- His own.
- Step children.
- The children of others.
- During conversation.
- In the company of others.
- Does he love it?
- Does he love solitude?
- What company does he love the most?
- In love.
- When insulted.
- During good fortune.
- During ill fortune.
- During the good or ill fortune of others.
- During unexpected happenstances?
- When a lesser Illuminatus is recommended for promotion to this degree, he must be at least of legal age. As has been stated, his character is then examined according to the questions in Addendum B. This is done in the various working lodges until every question has been answered. Everything is then read out and noted to determine if such a man is suitable for our final purpose. If three members oppose his election, he cannot be accepted. When there are two or one who object, the Master decides.
- The decision is then reported to the Assembly of Directing Illuminati, who can reject or confirm the promotion.
- If it is confirmed, the Candidate is summoned to the Master’s house who tells him in the presence of the Secret Secretary,
You have been found worthy to be accepted to a higher degree. However, this Class is of the utmost importance: a solid, inseverable bond among the best, tried and tested, most trustworthy men supporting one another in all things and seeking to make their lives sweet and pleasant, that there is no reservation, no pretense among them; however, he should first explain the following items:a) Has he found a better, unspoiled system built on more solid ground in any other society that can satisfy his desires better or faster?
b) Did he join the Order primarily to satisfy his curiosity or to join an alliance with the better part of humanity for the happiness of the world?
c) Is he satisfied with our system, as far as he knows it, and does he consequently want to contribute to our plans? Does he find any flaws with them, and if so, what are they?
d) Will he fully dedicate himself to the Order, or will he fully resign? There is no compromising in the higher degrees.
e) He must state whether or not he belongs to another Order or society, and which.
f) Does this society demand anything of him that violates our institutions, and does he wish to oblige these demands, e.g. betray our secrets to it, only work for them, etc.?
g) If the same were demanded of him by another order in the future, would he comply or not? And that, by his honor.
- Once he has answered these questions, one demands of him, “Before we can promote you, you must first write your unadorned autobiography, and when you are finished, seal and submit it the W.M. This final test of his honesty will seal his fate.”
- The Candidate’s answers and these entire proceedings are entered into a log, and he is then dismissed.
- Once the Candidate has completed and submitted his autobiography after a certain amount of time, once his answered have been examined and nothing dangerous has been found therein, a date is set for his initiation.
- Usually assemblies can be held on every day of the first quarter of the moon.
- He is led to a secluded chamber in which he will find a quill, ink, and paper on a table.
- Meanwhile, the lodge is opened.
- The lodge room is completely draped in black. In the back of the room, a strong, locked door can be seen. This lodge represents the vestibule of the Scottish Lodge. Before the door, the Grand Master sits behind a table draped in black, the Secret Secretary to his left. The two Wardens below him are seated at another table facing him, and between them is the Introducer. The other Brethren are at both sides in their seats. All wear the Scottish Apron and black coats. The Grand Master and Wardens carry gavels. Otherwise, no one wears a jewel. Further, no tapis is to be seen. The Secretary keeps the minutes. Other than the Ritual Book, etc., there is nothing on the table other than the apron for the new Brother and a round mirror with a handle. On the Master’s table, there are four candle sticks, and also on the tables of the Wardens. Otherwise, there are no lights in the room. However, to the right of the master hangs a blazing moon in its first quarter.
- After the Lodge is opened the Introducer is sent out of the room; he removes the black coat: however, he goes to the Candidate and tells him the following,My Br., before I can tell you anything else, place the index finger of your right hand on your heart, raise your left arm, the hand and index finger pointing up, and repeat after me:What I will hear and learn today and from now on in this close circle of faithful and eternally bound friends and in our illustrious Order, I shall keep as a dear secret with which I have been entrusted, and I will never betray it, not even in the hour of my death. I promise this by my honor and everything I hold holy, dear and near.Once the Candidate has repeated this, the other continues,This degree marks the beginning of an entirely new career for you; the close-knit circle of men you wish to enter today is bound in life and in death to assist one another as faithful, honorable friends. This degree is also the Novitiate of Higher Scottish Masonry, which is in the hands of the Order and its external comrades only. The Order also secretly directs the lower degrees most of Fr. Ms. systems at the very least that these are not entirely desecrated. The hieroglyphs of the Fr. Ms. contain sacred and serene truths. Even in the next degree, you will receive insights into them. However, all this knowledge is of no value and becomes lost to the world, if we do not make the world wiser and better. For the execution of this grand plan encompasses knowledge of the human heart and self-knowledge as the most essential parts. To this purpose, sufficient instruction will be given in this degree, and herein, everyone will receive materials for the study of psychology. Later, you will see the progress we have made in this discipline. But let us also see a sample of your skill in this subject. On this sheet of paper, create a faithful image of your character as you believe to know yourself, without dissimulation; you are dealing with men who can see your innermost self: if you are resolved to do this, I will leave you alone in this business for a few moments. (The candidate answers: One may have also prepared him, so that he may have completed part of the essay at home and less time is required here.)
- The Introducer now leaves the Candidate alone and returns to the lodge, where the biography is now read by the Secret Secretary; this piece of literature will give the Master the opportunity to make a few explanatory comments on the portrait created of the man.
- After this, the Introducer leaves once more to fetch the Candidate’s essay about his character.
- This is also read out, and the Master notes to what extent it matches the one created by the secret lodge and if it can be supplemented from both essays by the Candidate.
- Once this has been done, the Secret Secretary is sent to the Candidate; he brings with him the portrait created by the lodge and addresses him in the following manner,Dear Br., you have given us an appreciable sign of your candor and trust with the essays concerning your person, and in truth, we are not unworthy of these, and at length this will grow mutually as you get to know us better. Thus, away with all reservation! Among men who seek to better themselves and others and who want to help this diseased world, all pretenses must cease. We study the human heart: However, the further one progresses in this art, the more indulgent and patient one becomes and the more one realizes to what extent we are governed by circumstances and passions, how little it is often our own doing that we are neither better nor worse. Thus, we are not afraid to confess our flaws to one another, to bring this to one another’s attention in brotherly love, and by this to hone our acumen and powers of observation. Would you not feel insulted if I now read a portrait of you created by the assembly of your most faithful friends? But nay: how could you be insulted by this? This portrait cannot shame you. Otherwise, we would not see each other here today. And no man of your intellect will believe himself to be without flaw. Now let us come to the point: Here is the portrait (now he reads it aloud and continues after this). You will recognize in this portrait at least some of your characteristics. Is it still your will to bind yourself to the men who extend their brotherly arms to you as you are? (The Candidate answers, and the Secret Secretary returns to the lodge).
- As soon as the Secretary has returned, the Introducer is sent out to bring the Candidate to the vestibule’s gate. Meanwhile, all lights are extinguished, and the room is lit only by the moon. The Brethren, however, cloak themselves with their coats.
2nd Warden gives the stated knocks: He knocks as a Scottish Freemason.
1st Warden repeats the words of the 2nd Warden.
WM. The same knocks. “See, who is there.”
1st W. Repeats.
2nd W. exists, looks, and asks, “Who is there?”
Intr. “It is an honorable and properly tried illuminated Mason seeking entrance to the Inner Sanctum’s Vestibule: I petition in his behalf.”
2nd W. Repeats this.
1st W. Also.
WM. Hon. Br. 2nd W., let him enter as long as you know him and vouch for him.
(The 2nd Br. W. lets him enter and positions him between himself and the 1st W. The Introducer enters after them.)
WM. Here you see the sacred circle of tightly knit, true Masons in wisdom’s vestibule, preserving the Inner Sanctum where pristine truth and wisdom shine, who will in time spread its light over the entire world. These men, the Holy Legion of Nobler Souls, still conceal themselves from you, but do not believe, that you are equally concealed to them – no facet of your heart is unknown to the illustrious Superiors. Naked and unadorned, even under compunction and in concealment, you stand in the Assembly of the Wise. – And this gaze, my Br., looks deeply, looks deeply – do not fear this, but rejoice instead. Your heart must be good and noble. Otherwise you would have never been allowed in this circle of better men, if your way of thinking and inclination would not have been similar to ours – therefore approach (he approaches the altar) – friend! Br. in spirit! if you want to learn from us the great art to safely complete your journey through the midst of the world’s hazards, you will need artfully armed eyes to distinguish appearance from truth and the fraud from the friend. No common eye, no common insight will suffice. The Order gives you this keenness of sight, this degree of enlightenment. Behold the image in this mirror! It is your own. Self-knowledge is the magical looking glass by which you may read the souls of others. (He holds the mirror before him) The path to the hearts of other men begins with our own heart. Therefore, begin with yourself; examine yourself often according to the questions you will find prescribed in this degree of the Order. – Regard yourself diligently. Do you believe to be inwardly as you appear on the outside? Study your figure often, daily, hourly. You will constantly discover new features, and you will learn to judge others by these features. What a beautiful and, ah! what and ugly thing to behold the unconcealed human heart can be so very often! Nosce te ipsum (with this, the WM gives the sign of the degree). Man, discover yourself, if you seek to fathom others (here, all Br. reveal their faces, also giving the sign of the degree. Behold your faithful friends who no longer wish to remain concealed: but under the condition that you also wish to lay aside any concealment. O! you, having learned from this experience, let this mirror be your most faithful council throughout your journey on this world, in the noise of the world where everything is so deceptive and dangerous. In yourself, in your heart you will find all men. All are subject to the same nature, the same instincts. Everyone loves himself, loves himself in others. As you consistently find actions and consequences similar to your own in others, so the causes and motivations must be similar with similar actions. He who knows himself well, knows all; he whose does not know himself, knows no one. He who knows himself falsely or little, will judge others as erroneously. He does not seek in others what they are, but only his most foolish desires, his passions. From yourself, discover what others are, but do not let the treacherous looking glass flatter you; and trust it the least, if it shows you in too beautiful a light, because we all have our flaws. He who has the fewest and knows them is the best among us. Come to me now! (He steps to the right side of the altar) Here is the Scottish Leather Apron (He puts it on the Candidate, removing the Master Apron). It is entirely rectangular, cut by the Square. Thus, straight like the Square of virtue and wisdom, must be the direction of your heart. Green is the color of hope: Hope for everything from the Order, if you are honorable and faithful. The sign of this degree is placing the index finger of your right hand on your heart, while raising up your left arm and hand. The word is, “Nosce te ipsum.” The other answers, “Ex te nosce alios.” For the grip, unbutton the overcoat and half your vest and kiss the other person’s brow.
Now take your seat (the Master shows him his seat and has the candles lit; then he continues): You have had to undergo many preparations, my Br. It has taken you great efforts to reach this threshold. But have no regrets. A spirit that has been prepared sees more clearly. For by now, the Order has come to know your industriousness and your skills. It finds in you a man who has put himself in the position to gradually penetrate the depths and chasms that are unfathomable to the largest part of humanity and can only be explored by the elect. No uninitiated person sets foot here; not everyone can do this; and many who wanted to do so, who wanted to purchase it with money or sought to force it with trickery or power, have been forever excluded for these reasons; never shall this portal (he points to the door behind him) of light open unto them. Here counts no power, no wealth, no reputation. An enlightened mind and an honorable, benevolent heart are the only nobility and privilege that make a man capable of this. No one inherits this privilege; not the deeds of others, but one’s own, lead to it. You have reason to be proud, because many good men have failed. Further, we are so convinced of your faithfulness and secrecy that from now on, we require no further oaths or tests. Now trust your leaders. The Superiors will give you that which is useful to you and what you can bear. After all, you can see how unselfishly, how nobly you have been treated from the beginning. Thus continue in your work. We will not forget you. We only require your complete trust.
Finally, I must ask you a few questions about matters of which we need to know our better members’ opinions. You are in the circle of your closest, most faithful, perhaps your only friends, who know your innermost soul – therefore, away with shameful pretense. Let your heart speak freely, just as our hearts rush toward you. There is so little truth in the world, friend, Br., son! Often, the man with the beautiful façade and the blinding splendor is merely a whitewashed tomb. This majestic figure, this imprint of heaven, God’s image is hidden beneath a deceptive husk. Everything conceals itself – the evil to deceive, and the good to avoid being deceived. For one, it is to attack and for the other, it is to defend. It is sweet wantonness for connoisseurs of the human soul, that human beings are essentially good, that they are merely blinded and do not know their own interest. It is sweeter still to find in this sacred circle people who are of a single heart and will. Tell me, good Br.
1) Do you find that this world rewards virtue and punishes vice? Do you not rather find that outwardly, an evil man is happier, more respected, more powerful than a righteous one? In a word, how satisfied are you with the world as it is now? – (The new Br.’s ans. are recorded.)
2) To change this, would you try not gather the good and make them mightier than the evil, if this were in your power? (Ans. entered into the record.)
3) If you had the choice, in which country would you have preferred to be born and call your fatherland? (The ans. is entered into the rec.)
4) In which age would you have liked to live the most? (Ans. ent. i. rec.)
5) If you could choose freely, which social class would you choose? Which science? (Ans. i. rec.)
6) Who is your favorite historical person, or which author is your master? (Ans. i. rec.)
7) Do you not consider it your duty to provide tried and tested friends with as many external privileges as possible, to reward their righteousness, to make their lives easy? Do you offer to submit to the provisions required by this degree of the Order, namely that each of us is required in his monthly Q. L., which services, benefices, or the like he will provide or can make available through his recommendation, so that the Superiors have the opportunity to suggest worthy subjects among the for these Order positions? (Ans. i. rec.)
You see, my Br., this is how we seek to reward and support better men once we have tried them, one by one, so that we can thus gradually provide a different direction to the world. Since you feel in your own heart how little human beings fulfill their destiny, to what degree all public institutions have degenerated, how little the teachers of wisdom have managed to pitch human beings to a different tune and bring their interest in doing good close to their hearts, you can easily see that this must have been cause by the means they have used: Therefore they must be chosen better, if virtue and wisdom are ever to govern the world once more, and this is the business of our illustrious Order. Friend! Brother! Son! When we gather in this holy, secluded place and leave ourselves to contemplating the ills of the world, how fortune rarely smiles on him who deserves this the most, how misery, misfortune and persecution are an honest man’s allotted portion, how so many a good man and his large, lovable family he has raised to virtue languishes in sorrow, being oppressed, persecuted, and held back by villains, how his son sees this and becomes himself a villain for the sole reason of not having to suffer like his father, how trickery, flattery, oppression, and falsehood is generally more advantageous, while truth and uprightness is trampled underfoot, and man is a sensual creature, after all, allowing himself to be stirred by the external, how human beings conceal themselves to other human beings and one always betrays the other, how everyone only seeks personal gain, sacrificing the best of humanity for this, how wisdom flees to the corners, how he who wishes to work for the welfare of the world as a true humanitarian must flee from nation to nation to avoid persecution – Should we keep silent about this? Should we merely sigh? Should we never attempt to throw off this yoke? No, my Brother! Place your trust in us! Seek faithful, zealous collaborators not in the clamor and bustle of the world; they are hidden in the dark, under cover of the ancient night; there they are, lonely and quiet, gathered only in small circles and led by illuminated Superiors like obedient children. They call out to every son of the world passing by in this frenzy – But only few harken! Only he who sees with the eyes of Minerva’s Bird, laboring under the protection of this benevolent star (he points to the moon) will surely find them.
Now review with us once more the entire sphere of influence you will enter by joining this inner circle.”
- (The Secret Secretary reads:)
General Overview of the Entire Order.
The further you, my Br., advance in our ill. Ord., the more you will be convinced that our principles are of such a kind that they do not need to fear the light, if human beings were as they should be. Sadly, however, very much is still lacking. Truths that are not presented under concealment and in sacred ceremonies are not truths to most people. The hidden tempts them, and they are captivated by the pleasure of knowing something that is not known to everyone so that they direct their attention to matters they would have otherwise ignored, no matter how important they are, and in this manner, the unadulterated truth must imprint itself in their souls in indelible characters. There are also sentences that cannot be presented in a direct manner, that require thorough contemplation, repeated effort, and not everyone is inclined to this; yet everyone likes to think of himself as the wisest man. Thus, if I wish to initiate into a system that relies heavily on middle movements he would not likely have found in this chain through his own reasoning, I must conceal the complete development with a shroud until he is sufficiently prepared to see the whole light and the allure of attaining this must move him to pay attention to everything, even the smallest detail. If I were to present the final goal at once, it would appear to him unimportant, even false, and one would lose the most useful people.
Finally, there certainly are also certain truths, hidden behind hieroglyphs in ancient times, preserved by only the most tried and tested part of humanity, certain insights into the higher truth which not everyone can fathom, because a thousand obstacles, prejudices, passions, etc. prevent him from penetrating this deeply. These have always been veiled by secret mystery schools behind images, presented to their pupils by and by, and according to this plan, the hieroglyphs of the three symbolic degrees of the Fr. Ms. are also organized. Everything our ill. Order teaches and does must affect the best of the world, must lead to elevation to raise humanity once more from the depths of perdition into which it has descended, making it receptive for higher a good and wisdom. This is why the Order has also studied the outward institutions of all public and secret organizations, preserved the best parts, and avoided their errors. Yea! Even now, its outer plan of operation becomes more solid and more fitting to the times every day. But even the best intentions are often thwarted by evil men or desecrated by unworthy ones: However, our secrecy and the strict tests of our mbrs. preserve us from both. Now let us summarize the Ord.’s entire plan in a single point: our final goal is to:
I. Proliferate pure truth.
II. Make virtue victorious.
To attain the first goal, people must be purged from prejudice, their minds must be enlightened; then with joint forces, the sciences must be purged from unnecessary subtleties; correct principles, drawn from natures must be established, and thus, the unobstructed path to approach the pure, now hidden truth must be opened to humanity. Therefore, we must unlock every source of research, reward every suppressed talent, pull every genius from the dust, teach pure principles according to the constitution of the age everywhere, educate the youth, unite the best minds with an inseverable bond, dispute superstition, faithlessness, and folly boldly, but wisely, and finally train all our people in such a manner that they have a uniform, straight, and correct understanding of all things.
The Seed School of the Minerval Class serves this purpose, followed by the lesser Freemasonry, whom the Ord. seeks to influence as much as possible and guide according to our grand purpose, and finally the Higher Class, where the results of our efforts and the traditions of our ancestors are fully revealed. However, to provide virtue a firm seating, we test and train our pupils’ hearts with incredible effort. Afterwards, anything can be accomplished with these men. But one cannot proceed with common means. No amount of teaching and preaching will help, or it would have helped long ago. There is no truth to be found that has not been repeated often, no duty that has not already been taught, and the world remains as it has always been; where it is no worse, it is as bad as it was a thousand years ago; the reason for this is that there are many institutions that promote vice, and they far more powerful than that which our preachers can accomplish. Therefore, from our side, force must be met with force. But here, one must examine the source of evil: Why are there so many evil persons, and so few good? Because the allure of evil is greater, since one can accomplish more with it in the world. – Her, the scales must be tipped in favor of virtue. One must endeavor to bring it to a point where the just man also can secure the external reward for his righteousness in this world. (However, the priests and princes as well as the current political climate oppose use greatly in this endeavor. What then should we do? Encourage revolutions, overthrow everything, drive out violence with violence, replace tyrants with tyrants? Far be it from us! Every violent reform is pernicious, because it does not improve things as long as human beings adhere to their passions as they are, and because wisdom does not require such force.)
The Ord.’s entire plan is based on educating humanity, however not through declamation, but by promoting and rewarding virtue. One must secretly tie the hands of those who promote vice and govern them without oppressing them. In a word, one must introduce a general regimen of morality, a form of government encompassing the entire world without dissolving the civic bonds by which all other governments continue their progress and can do anything except thwart the grand purpose of making good victorious over evil once more. This was even Christ’s intention when he introduced a pure religion. Human beings were to become wise and good, were to allow themselves to be guided by wiser and better persons for their own good. In those days, however, when everything was in darkness, even the sermons could suffice. The novelty of wisdom had an overwhelming allure. Today, this is not so. More powerful means than mere education must be applied to give virtue an outward allure for the sensual man. Passions cannot be extinguished, but one must only know how to direct them toward noble purposes. One must show the ambitious man that true honor for which he yearns rests in virtue and can never be satisfied better by practicing the same. One must show the miser who wants own everything that he actually owns nothing, and one must show the libertine that overindulgence will sour every joy, – in short, that everyone satisfies his passions, whose origin is pure, best when he keeps it within the confines of virtue and that the Order will provide him with the means for this.
Thus, all our people must be pitched to a single tune, cling tightly to one another, have only one goal in mind, assist each other, and thus impregnate the entire world. One must gather a legion of men around the great men of the world, men who tirelessly guide the whole matter for the good of humanity, men who change the entire nation; no external force is required. The rulers of the world will soon open their eyes, and they will see that their advantage will be increased, but that they will run into unfathomable difficulties when they enforce evil. The nobler men will soon gain the upper hand on the evil ones who now play masters and bring unhappiness to anyone who resists them. But those who are too womanly, too prejudiced, too inactive to earnestly fight for the rights of humanity must be motivated; good men must seek one another out; those who do not know or trust themselves must be brought about, and one must show them that two honorable persons who are united can be stronger than a hundred scoundrels. But all this must take place in secret. Our small heap must not abandon one another and assist everyone who is oppressed, provide every good man temporal advantages, outward happiness, and attempt to win all positions where power can be won for the good cause. Why should it not be permissible to establish oneself by righteous and gentle means to influence governments? The first objective of every state constitution is to place good persons at the helm, reward merit, and crown virtue. If the Order can attain this through advocacy and by guiding the heart, if it has educated the most faithful, best, wisest, most thoroughly tests persons for the state, if it tries to promote them and reward their diligence, it consequently fulfills the duties of the most faithful subjects and thus also fulfills the original purpose of human beings entering into social bonds.
If, then, one has such a circle of in every nation, if every one of these forms a pair, if they cling to one another tightly, the Order can accomplish anything, and in this manner, it has already accomplished much for the good of humankind. But if only one thing is omitted, all doctrines are useless, and the entire matter remains purely speculative. Consider everything carefully; it is a grand work, not of our own design. A secure, well thought-out, unspoiled plan. Make yourself worthy of collaborating to the extent of your abilities; no effort goes without reward here.
Here, my Br., you see the unfathomable scope of our efficacy into which you have been placed.
Now hear more information concerning the work of this degree.
- The Secretary now reads the introduction, the news from the working lodges, in addition to Addendum A. The new Initiate can peruse Addendum B. on occasion.
- Now follows the Catechism.
- Next, the Order‘s pass phrase is given.
- The Lodge is closed; upon which
- The Secret Secretary submits
- The new Initiate’s answers he provided in the WM’s house,
- The man’s portrait created and corrected by the Lodge,
- His silhouette,
- His autobiography, and
- Self-assessment, and
- His answers to the seven other questions, sealed in a packet, to the Master for forwarding them to the other Superiors.
 Johann Heinrich Faber, Der ächte Illuminat oder Die wahren unverbesserten Rituale der Illuminaten: ohne Zusatz und ohne Hinweglassung (Edessa 1788), 139-212.
 Symbol. Brothers.
 French. Spirit of detail.
 Latin. Know thyself.
 French. Carpet, i.e. a tracing board.
 Free Masonic.
 Latin. Out of thee and recognize others.