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Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (pp. 43-60)

Instruction for Cato, Marius and Scipio

Cato, Marius and Scipio are destined for the highest offices of the Order, and are not occupied with trivial affairs. [p. 44]

Therefore, properly speaking, they are not recruiters; rather they are in charge of instructing capable men, and rekindling the zeal of new candidates.

Lately they have focused their attention on Coriolanus, so that he acts according to his received instructions, and in this area, they do not let pass the smallest thing.

In particular, they have to generally govern in a uniform manner.

Their first concern is Athens itself. It has a system that reports only to Spartacus or those close to him. As for the other Coscios,1 they send and receive each month a sort of journal or gazette. – N.B. This journal has since become a daily affair.

These three only, in addition to the participation of Tiberius, Alcibiades, Ajax and Solon, constitute the Supreme College, for whom there is a special instruction, and there they work on projects, improvements, etc., and through circulars they must communicate with Consciis. This is why the Tribunal received the name of Areopagus, and those who compose it are surnamed Areopagites; this will be discussed elsewhere. [p. 45]

If the Areopagites assemble and Coriolanus attends and assists the meeting, they work in the grade of Illuminatus and do not address anything beyond that which is provided in the Statutes.

If the assembled Areopagites, however, involve others in addition to Coriolanus, they work exclusively in the second grade outlined elsewhere. Therefore, in the following remarks, we observe:

When Areopagites are working with Coriolanus in the grade of Illuminatus.

They must then appoint Coriolanus as superior of the assembly of the second degree, proceed with his solemn installation and, as described, encircled with the ribbon of the Order. In this degree, all must wear this ribbon and [owl] insignia. But Cato, as Illuminatus superior, bears, instead of the owl, a half-moon suspended by a ponceau red ribbon.2 If Ajax is present, however, due to his seniority, it is to him that the chairmanship is yielded.

All instructions are communicated to Coriolanus, we [in turn] receive from him all communications, and in general Coriolanus proceeds according to the recommendations of the three Areopagites. Their assemblies, according to the Calendar [p. 46] of the Illuminati, are regarded as feasts [or holidays] of the Order. Urgent matters must be carefully extracted from the instructions of Coriolanus. In general, Coriolanus is concerned about everything that interests the first and second degree, as they must receive their direction from the third.

Each month the letters of complaints must be presented in a sealed envelope, though in the case of Coriolanus against the three Areopagites of Athens, or against other members by their closest subordinates, [the letters] should not be opened by them, but be sent to Spartacus, so that it is assured that the Areopagites are privy to neither more nor less than is permitted.

If the Areopagites work with Coriolanus according to the guideline of the second degree, which will come soon, they act according to the instructions mentioned therein and undertake nothing more.

Here, it is Coriolanus who presides, and a vacant seat next to him can be occupied.

For a time, under the direction of Coriolanus, all Areopagites will assemble. And as an example of submission, among other things, [p. 47] they are required to grant him sincere respect.

Coriolanus does not undertake anything, outside of what is permitted by the Statutes or what he is instructed to do by the Areopagites during sessions of the Illuminati.

When Cato, Marius, Scipio, as well as Coriolanus, assemble, it is expedient to make use of a copyist, so that when a matter has been resolved, everyone can take notes from a single sheet of paper placed before them. As to the minutes [of the Order], one is handed to me (Spartacus), another is deposited in the archives, and the third is circulated. Thus, two, or even one may suffice. The other Areopagites can have them forwarded, after having made extracts.

They must also divide up their correspondences. Cato in Eleusis and Erzerum, Scipio Sparta, and Marius Thebes.

In general, they now work systematically, not exceeding the ordinances, and do not engage in unnecessary deliberations. –– All this is indeed for the interim, and in due time will be ordered in another manner.

[p. 48] We have but one instruction here from the Areopagites at Athens that does not need to circulate among the others. Only Cato, Marius and Scipio record their observations and memories; they then send them to me.

I will also reform the statutes of the first degree (1). That is why communications must be ceased for a time; whether only to ensure that everything is shipped promptly and to discern accurately triple or quadruple membership.

Instructio pro Recipientibus [Instruction for those Conducting Receptions]

Has anyone found a suitable subject, has he proposed [him] to the Order and obtained permission to get to work; we should not be content with initial contact, but look to awaken in him love, trust and consideration.

(1) See p. 26

[p. 49] He directs his conduct in such a way that the recruit thinks he possesses hidden qualities; that something extraordinary lies behind it.

He must be lead in such a way that the desire to enter the Society does not appear suddenly, but gradually, so that the initiator is eventually requested by the applicant [himself] to be received.
The easiest way to achieve this goal, may be the following:

A contribution might be made by reading good books which elevate the soul, for example:

Seneca [the Younger];

Abbt’s On Merits;3

The various philosophical writings of Meiners;4

The Golden Mirror [or the Kings of Scheschian];5

Contributions to the secret history of the human heart and mind;6

Tobias Knaut;7

[Wieland’s] Agathon;

The moral writings of Plutarch;

his biographies;

The Mediations of Marcus Aurelius; [p. 50]

Still, discourse must be utilized to facilitate the Society’s assembly.

To this end, we must have on hand books that deal with the unity, strength, etc. of the Society.

For example, like the shouting or powerlessness of a small child, we start by talking about the weakness of man, how little he can do it alone; to be strong and powerful with the help of others.

All human greatness and princely Highness is derived from goodwill.

We demonstrate the superiority of the social state over the natural state.

We proceed to the art of knowing and controlling man.

We show how easy it would be for a sensible and calculating mind to lead a hundred or a thousand men.

We point out what the princes and their military are capable of doing, thanks to the unity of their subordinates. [p. 51]

We demonstrate the benefits of our Society in general and the inadequacy of a bourgeois life, and how much we enable him to count on help from his friends and others.

We’ll pronounce that today it is quite necessary to join forces with each other, that men could fortify the sky if they were united, while their disunity provides an opportunity for subjugation.

Develop this subject through the aid of examples and fables, e.g. such as that of the two dogs charged with guarding the sheep who unite and protect the flock. Each will choose a series of examples.

We finally address the question of whether secret societies could do more still, and the methods thereof.

Utilizing the examples of the Jesuit Order, the Order of Freemasons, and the secret societies of the ancients – that all events in the world came about from a hundred causes and secret motives, including the fact that secret societies have played the leading role – we emphasize the joy which accompanies a silent and hidden power along with those who have penetrated the most hidden secrets. [p. 52]

With this we begin to demonstrate that we are informed and, little by little, dispense with ambiguous discourse.

When the candidate begins to get excited, we reason with him personally until eventually it is noticed that he arrives at the following conclusion or judgment: If I had the opportunity to enter into such an association today, I would do so immediately.

This discourse is repeated often.

We have the opportunity to cultivate confidence in someone, etc., by offering counsel to the candidate and having him state his opinions, on condition that they reflect the most solid foundations; we anticipate difficulties from those exhibiting influence over the others, but at once, through constant examination, it may be resolved and put to an end.

N.B. In order for more rapid methods to be put to use from the beginning, initiate those who have long known and have trust for one another.

At other times, it is arranged so that, at the moment when the candidate has been sufficiently convinced, he is paid a visit [p. 53] and receives a letter in cipher. We open it and read it in his presence, acting as if we want to conceal it, but in such a way that the candidate can still see the cipher.

Or better yet, we leave a letter like this open a while on a table, and when the candidate notices it, it is removed in a manner of someone who does not want others to be privy to such things, and we hide it, or move it away further than is necessary.

At other times, we simply return to the original task.

We’ll try to penetrate his dominant feelings and primary reasoning, and we will organize it in such a way that the candidate understands what can be achieved through such associations and that it wouldn’t be likely through anything else.

Through these discourses and activities, it is necessary that the candidate demonstrate his willingness or otherwise. And accordingly, in either case, the desire to take the first Oath may or may not occur. [p. 54]

We will not, without special permission, present a person, that isn’t:

of the Christian religion;

younger or of the same age as the person who has received him;

those who do not have a big heart full of love for humanity and benevolence;

He must also possess judgment (it is better here, however, to be beholden to the Aufklärung [Enlightenment] of the Order) or skill in the arts; he must be diligent, scrupulous, a good house master and have a good reputation.

Babblers, the debauched, the dissolute, the disobedient, the proud, bullies and the unsociable, boasters, the fickle, liars and the selfish, are usually eliminated, unless there is hope of immediate improvement.

Similarly excluded are Jews, pagans, women, monks and members of other secret Orders.

Those who are public employees, or who are old enough to eventually hold such a position, are only admissible if the person receiving them is his employer and his senior, or if the recruit is altogether submissive. [p. 55]

Above all, we prefer young men aged 18 to 30, rich, eager to learn, good hearted, docile, strong-willed and a persevering spirit.

If we notice the candidate demonstrating a desire and willingness to be initiated, we could impress upon him that it is likewise for the Order, and that the cost of entry would be worth his while.

When disclosing secrets, the one who receives or has presented a candidate must not reveal everything at once, but ensure that something or other is always held back, and he becomes more forthright only when the candidate has begun to express sensibility.

No documents are left in his hands, and he is asked at once if he has read it.

He’s required to send detailed reports to his superiors about everything that happens to him and asks for further instructions, and is held to the strictest secrecy with respect to his recruiters, intermediaries or otherwise. [p. 56]

In particular, he must often surprise his candidate, to observe if he’s following the regulations of the Order.

He must also have frequent conversations with him about the Order, and, in his written or oral report to the superiors, remarking whether the candidate speaks with zeal, with seriousness, or indifference.

He must also constantly guard against tedium, assigning easy tasks, mostly to get accustomed to orderliness and punctuality, fulfilling the requirements in particular, and practicing with him the topics of his various tests.

He must be continuously stimulated to propose other men for initiation.

Also, he must read good books with him, and give the candidate instructions for his notes and extracts.

From time to time he shall write, in a precise fashion, in the table, everything asked of him.8

He should also seek to gain his trust, spy on him through secret reports, which will portray the character of various people, etc. [p. 57]

Generally, the recipient will ensure scrupulous implementation of the Statutes, and will report to his immediate superior; in any case, reprimands, however slight, won’t be meted out. We [instead] remind him of the regulations and ordinances that are already in his possession.

The present instruction must not be assigned, but only read and oral explanations provided.

Instruction for those who obtain the right to insinuate a candidate

In the handwriting and signature of Cato (Zwack)

Once the Order has given its approval that one of the proposed candidates will be insinuated, the insinuator will look for a favorable occasion to speak slowly with his new candidate in such a manner as to win him over. When the principal goal of the Order has been explained, he is asked to take the Oath; then, after he has read the fundamental regulations, the Oath is given back to the Order, through the aforementioned [p. 58] insinuator, and the candidate waits for permission to take the written exam. His orders having been transmitted as required, the Statutes and the Instructions for Insinuators are then successively collected and he records every action and notifies the Order about everything that occurs thereafter.

Here we should remember:

To follow in the most precise way the Statutes which concern insinuators.

To include everything exactly in the table established pursuant to the annex for the proposal of candidates.

To establish an intimate relationship with his subordinates, and everything that concerns them, particularly the candidate he has insinuated, in writing, so that it may be communicated to the Order immediately.

To surprise the candidate often with improvisation, to see if he has carefully preserved and retained the writings that he has received from the Order.

To have frequent conversations with him about the Order and noting whether the candidate speaks with zeal, with seriousness, or with indifference, and above all about what he’s looking for in the Order, etc. [p. 59]

To establish careful dispatching, in the name of the Society, of everything concerning the newly insinuated; a receipt is required in matters of importance.

To constantly encourage them to propose decent men, while rendering them worthy to diligently obtain authority.

When the new candidate has obtained this ability from the Order, the insinuator will learn nothing more of his candidate who will be regarded as the insinuator’s progeny until a time to be determined by the Society. This is strict Observance.9

When one has obtained from the Order the permission to insinuate proposed candidates, having risen to a grade higher than his insinuator, the Society ensures that he has been signaled out for complete trust. It was therefore decided that in this grade, in addition to the half-sheet destined to be sent along with the instructions for insinuators, another is enclosed that, in particular and as fully as possible, recounts all secret intrigues, love and intimacies of various people, to be sent and [p. 60] addressed: au Premier [to the First]. On this occasion, it is permitted to write No. 1.

A catalog of all books belonging to the Society shall be registered.

This is disclosed for private instruction only, to habituate the young people in our Order, so that everyone does their part, according to their standing.


I hereby pledge under my honor and my good reputation, and by waiving any restriction with respect to the secrets entrusted to me by … (named here is the person who received the candidate), on the subject of my admission into a secret society, never to reveal anything to anyone, even to my closest friend and to my parents, in any way, either through words, signs or mannerisms, etc. My admission may be granted or not; furthermore, the one who has received me has assured me that, in this Society, there is nothing contrary to nor against the State, religion [p. 61] and morals. I also promise to guard the writings communicated to me or the letters that I will receive, after making the necessary extracts only intelligible to us. And all this is as true as I am an honorable man and will remain so thereafter.

(Place, date, month and year.)
Signature: Name and surname.

1 Coscios and Consciis: in the sense of brethren, or accomplices, privy to a conspiratorial undertaking and of equal rank in the higher mysteries; the Elect.
2 In René Le Forestier’s Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie Allemande [Paris: 1915] (Archè reprint, 2001), p. 71, however, additional details are gleaned from consulting an archived letter from Illuminati Jakob Anton Hertel to Franz von Paula Hoheneicher, namely: “The medallion, less broad and less thick than that of the Minervals, was adorned with a crown, a crescent moon and seven Pleiades amidst the clouds. The moon, stars and the crown were enamelled, while the clouds were matt” (see Perfectibilists, pp. 213-14, and notes).
3 Thomas Abbt (1738–1766): Vom Verdienste (1765).
4 Illuminatus Christoph Meiners (1747–1810): Vermischte Philosophische Schriften (3 volumes, 1775-6).
5 Christoph Martin Wieland (1733–1813): Der goldene Spiegel oder Die Konige von Scheschian (1772).
6 Wieland’s Beiträge zur geheimen Geschichte des menschlichen Verstandes und Herzens (1770).
7 Johann Karl Wezel (1747-1819): Lebensgeschichte Tobias Knauts, des Weisen, sonst der Stammler genannt [Life Story of Tobias Knaut the Wise, also known as the Stutterer] (1773-6).
8 We will see examples of these tables later, which include detailed questions and answers. The candidate was required to disclose as much as possible about himself, his associates, protectors, patrons, affiliations and family.
9 This is a direct reference to the Masonic-templar Rite of Strict Observance, founded in the 1750s by Baron von Hund, whom the Illuminati were competing with for initiates. Potential candidates would be enticed to join based on the claim that the Illuminati system was similar yet superior. “Strict Observance” denotes obedience to Superiors and the ritual system as well as the notion that neophytes are under constant surveillance (everywhere and at all times). They developed the dogma of unquestionable adherence to Unknown Superiors (a kind secret society within a secret society, of adepts: the Masters and string-pullers of the entire enterprise).

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