Trilogy , and the latter suggested a game. Steve Jackson decided against adapting the novel because of the expense of game rights, and the difficulty of adapting a novel with such convoluted plots. He decided "a game about the secret-conspiracy idea behind Illuminatus! After researching the Illuminati and conspiracy theories , and "extensive and enthusiastic playtesting" it went on the market in July in the at the time usual SJG Pocket Box format.
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Adam Weishaupt — became professor of Canon Law and practical philosophy at the University of Ingolstadt in He was the only non-clerical professor at an institution run by Jesuits , whose order Pope Clement XIV had dissolved in The Jesuits of Ingolstadt, however, still retained the purse strings and some power at the University, which they continued to regard as their own. They made constant attempts to frustrate and discredit non-clerical staff, especially when course material contained anything they regarded as liberal or Protestant.
Weishaupt became Spartacus. Weishaupt later expelled Sutor for indolence. Significantly, while studying in Munich shortly after the formation of the order, he recruited Xavier von Zwack , a former pupil of Weishaupt at the beginning of a significant administrative career. At the time, he was in charge of the Bavarian National Lottery. Later, his erratic love-life made him neglectful, and as Weishaupt passed control of the Munich group to Zwack, it became clear that Massenhausen had misappropriated subscriptions and intercepted correspondence between Weishaupt and Zwack.
In , Massenhausen graduated and took a post outside Bavaria , taking no further interest in the order. At this time, the order had a nominal membership of twelve. Most prized by Weishaupt was Hertel, a childhood friend and a canon of the Munich Frauenkirche.
In this the candidate was given secret signs and a password. A system of mutual espionage kept Weishaupt informed of the activities and character of all his members, his favourites becoming members of the ruling council, or Areopagus. Some novices were permitted to recruit, becoming Insinuants. Christians of good character were actively sought, with Jews and pagans specifically excluded, along with women, monks, and members of other secret societies.
Favoured candidates were rich, docile, willing to learn, and aged 18— Zwack persuaded Weishaupt that their own order should enter into friendly relations with Freemasonry, and obtain the dispensation to set up their own lodge.
At this stage December , the addition of the first three degrees of Freemasonry was seen as a secondary project. It was founded in Munich on 21 March , and quickly packed with Illuminati. By establishing masonic relations with the Union lodge in Frankfurt, affiliated to the Premier Grand Lodge of England , lodge Theodore became independently recognised, and able to declare its independence.
As a new mother lodge, it could now spawn lodges of its own. The recruiting drive amongst the Frankfurt masons also obtained the allegiance of Adolph Freiherr Knigge.
Knigge, still in his twenties, had already reached the highest initiatory grades of his order, and had arrived with his own grand plans for its reform. Disappointed that his scheme found no support, Knigge was immediately intrigued when Costanzo informed him that the order that he sought to create already existed.
Knigge and three of his friends expressed a strong interest in learning more of this order, and Costanzo showed them material relating to the Minerval grade. The teaching material for the grade was "liberal" literature which was banned in Bavaria, but common knowledge in the Protestant German states. Knigge replied to Weishaupt outlining his plans for the reform of Freemasonry as the Strict Observance began to question its own origins. Knigge accepted, on the condition that he be allowed to choose his own recruiting grounds.
Knigge appeared at this time to believe in the "Most Serene Superiors" which Weishaupt claimed to serve. His inability to articulate anything about the higher degrees of the order became increasingly embarrassing, but in delaying any help, Weishaupt gave him an extra task. Provided with material by Weishaupt, Knigge now produced pamphlets outlining the activities of the outlawed Jesuits, purporting to show how they continued to thrive and recruit, especially in Bavaria.
In January , faced with the prospect of losing Knigge and his masonic recruits, Weishaupt finally confessed that his superiors and the supposed antiquity of the order were fictions, and the higher degrees had yet to be written. Weishaupt promised Knigge a free hand in the creation of the higher degrees, and also promised to send him his own notes.
For his own part, Knigge welcomed the opportunity to use the order as a vehicle for his own ideas. His new approach would, he claimed, make the Illuminati more attractive to prospective members in the Protestant kingdoms of Germany.
In November the Areopagus advanced Knigge 50 florins to travel to Bavaria, which he did via Swabia and Franconia , meeting and enjoying the hospitality of other Illuminati on his journey. The Eichstaedt command had formed an autonomous province in July , and a rift was growing between Weishaupt and the Areopagus, who found him stubborn, dictatorial, and inconsistent.
Knigge fitted readily into the role of peacemaker. Secondly, the anti-Jesuit ethos of the order at its inception had become a general anti-religious sentiment, which Knigge knew would be a problem in recruiting the senior Freemasons that the order now sought to attract. Knigge felt keenly the stifling grip of conservative Catholicism in Bavaria, and understood the anti-religious feelings that this produced in the liberal Illuminati, but he also saw the negative impression these same feelings would engender in Protestant states, inhibiting the spread of the order in greater Germany.
Both the Areopagus and Weishaupt felt powerless to do anything less than give Knigge a free hand. He had the contacts within and outside of Freemasonry that they needed, and he had the skill as a ritualist to build their projected gradal structure, where they had ground to a halt at Illuminatus Minor, with only the Minerval grade below and the merest sketches of higher grades.
The only restrictions imposed were the need to discuss the inner secrets of the highest grades, and the necessity of submitting his new grades for approval.
While Lodge Theodore was now in their control, a chapter of "Elect Masters" attached to it only had one member from the order, and still had a constitutional superiority to the craft lodge controlled by the Illuminati.
The chapter would be difficult to persuade to submit to the Areopagus, and formed a very real barrier to Lodge Theodore becoming the first mother-lodge of a new Illuminated Freemasonry. The Royal York, unwilling to lose the revenue, offered to confer the "higher" secrets of Freemasonry on a representative that their Munich brethren would dispatch to Berlin.
On the way, he managed to have an argument with a Frenchman on the subject of a lady with whom they were sharing a carriage. The Frenchman sent a message ahead to the king, some time before they reached Berlin, denouncing Costanza as a spy. He was only freed from prison with the help of the Grand Master of Royal York, and was expelled from Prussia having accomplished nothing.
Until such time as they could take over other masonic lodges that their chapter could not control, they were for the moment content to rewrite the three degrees for the lodges which they administered.
These were arranged in three classes: Class I — The nursery, consisting of the Noviciate, the Minerval, and Illuminatus minor. Class II — The Masonic grades. The three "blue lodge" grades of Apprentice, Companion, and Master were separated from the higher "Scottish" grades of Scottish Novice and Scottish Knight. The lesser mysteries were the grades of Priest and Prince, followed by the greater mysteries in the grades of Mage and King.
It is unlikely that the rituals for the greater mysteries were ever written. He targeted the masters and wardens, the men who ran the lodges, and were often able to place the entire lodge at the disposal of the Illuminati. In Aachen , Baron de Witte, master of Constancy lodge, caused every member to join the order.
In this way, the order expanded rapidly in central and southern Germany, and obtained a foothold in Austria. Moving into the Spring of , the handful of students that had started the order had swelled to about members, only 20 of the new recruits being students. In February, Weishaupt had offered to split the lodge, with the Illuminati going their own way and the chapter taking any remaining traditionalists into their own continuation of Theodore.
At this point, the chapter unexpectedly capitulated, and the Illuminati had complete control of lodge and chapter. Their neglect of Costanza, failure to defend him from malicious charges or prevent his expulsion from Prussia, were also cited.
They had made no effort to provide Costanza with the promised secrets, and the Munich masons now suspected that their brethren in Berlin relied on the mystical French higher grades which they sought to avoid.
Lodge Theodore was now independent. Suspicion turned to open contempt when it transpired that Carl regarded the Stuart heir to the British throne as the true Grand Master, and the lodges of the Strict Observance all but ignored their Grand Master.
This impasse led to the Convent of Wilhelmsbad. The only dissenting voices to mystical higher grades were Johann Joachim Christoph Bode , who was horrified by Martinism, but whose proposed alternatives were as yet unformed, and Franz Dietrich von Ditfurth, a judge from Wetzlar and master of the Joseph of the Three Helmets lodge there, who was already a member of the Illuminati. Ditfurth publicly campaigned for a return to the basic three degrees of Freemasonry, which was the least likely outcome of the convention.
The mystics already had coherent plans to replace the higher degrees. Ditfurth, prompted and assisted by Knigge, who now had full authority to act for the order, became their spokesman. His new plan was to recruit the masons opposed to the "Templar" higher degree of the Strict Observance. The frustration of the German mystics led to their enrolling Count Kollowrat with the Illuminati with a view to later affiliation.
Finding no support for his plan, he left the convent prematurely, writing to the Areopagus that he expected nothing good of the assembly. They renounced the Templar origins of their ritual, while retaining the Templar titles, trappings and administrative structure. Charles of Hesse and Ferdinand of Brunswick remained at the head of the order, but in practice the lodges were almost independent.
Crucially, individual lodges of the order were now allowed to fraternise with lodges of other systems. The new "Scottish Grade" introduced with the Lyon ritual of Willermoz was not compulsory, each province and prefecture was free to decide what, if anything, happened after the three craft degrees. Finally, in an effort to show that something had been achieved, the convent regulated at length on etiquette, titles, and a new numbering for the provinces.
It renounced its own origin myth, along with the higher degrees which bound its highest and most influential members. It abolished the strict control which had kept the order united, and alienated many Germans who mistrusted Martinism. Bode, who was repelled by Martinism, immediately entered negotiations with Knigge, and finally joined the Illuminati in January Charles of Hesse joined the following month.
He proposed a new federation where all of the German lodges would practise an agreed, unified system in the essential three degrees of Freemasonry, and be left to their own devices as to which, if any, system of higher degrees they wished to pursue.
This would be a federation of Grand Lodges, and members would be free to visit any of the "blue" lodges, in any jurisdiction.
All lodge masters would be elected, and no fees would be paid to any central authority whatsoever. Groups of lodges would be subject to a "Scottish Directorate", composed of members delegated by lodges, to audit finances, settle disputes, and authorise new lodges. These in turn would elect Provincial Directorates, who would elect inspectors, who would elect the national director.
This system would correct the current imbalance in German Freemasonry, where masonic ideals of equality were preserved only in the lower three "symbolic" degrees. The various systems of higher degrees were dominated by the elite who could afford researches in alchemy and mysticism. To Weishaupt and Knigge, the proposed federation was also a vehicle to propagate Illuminism throughout German Freemasonry.
Their intention was to use their new federation, with its emphasis on the fundamental degrees, to remove all allegiance to Strict Observance, allowing the "eclectic" system of the Illuminati to take its place. Having advocated the deregulation of the higher grades of the German lodges, the Illuminati now announced their own, from their "unknown Superiors".
Knigge, in a letter to all the Royal York lodges, now accused that Grand Lodge of decadence. Their Freemasonry had allegedly been corrupted by the Jesuits. Strict Observance was now attacked as a creation of the Stuarts, devoid of all moral virtue. The Zinnendorf rite of the Grand Landlodge of the Freemasons of Germany was suspect because its author was in league with the Swedes.
This direct attack had the opposite effect to that intended by Weishaupt, it offended many of its readers. The Grand Lodge of the Grand Orient of Warsaw, which controlled Freemasonry in Poland and Lithuania, was happy to participate in the federation only as far as the first three degrees.