The Degree System of the llluminati



This is the arrangement of the ranks and progress of the Illuminatus:
























Fellow Craft


Scotch Novice

Scotch Knight

The Mystery Grades




Epopt (Presbyter)

Principatus Illuminatus








1. Introduced to an llluminatus Dirigens
2. Reception into the degree
3. Candidate is presented to a Table
4. Candidate is asked to read several items:

1. A very concise account of the Order, its connection with Free Masonry, and its great object, the promoting the happiness of mankind by means of instruction and confirmation in virtuous principles
2. Several questions relative to the Order, and instructions for submitting a written response:

  • What advantages do you hope to derive from being a member?

  • What do you most particularly wish to learn?

  • What delicate questions relative to the life, the prospects, the duties of man, as an individual, and as a citizen, do you wish to have particularly discussed with you?

  • In what respects do you think you can be of use to the Order?

  • Who are your ancestors, relations, friends, correspondents, or enemies?

  • Whom do you think proper persons are to be received into the Order?

  • Whom do you think unfit for the Order?

  • What are your reasons for both?


• Academy of llluminism
• Brethern of Minerva
• Instruction for the Minerval
• Reception at the dead of night in a dark temple desert
• Reception into the degree

1. Introduced to a Bodhi Initiator
2. Candidate is presented to a Table
3. Candidate writes on a piece of paper:

  • Name

  • Place of Birth

  • Age

  • Rank

  • Place of Residence Profession

  • Favorite Studies

llluminatus Minor
The Minerval must advance within three years of initiation, or, if he is found to be unfit, remains a Free Mason and is called a Sta bene.

If he is found worthy the Minerval is advanced to llluminatus Minor.

  • Conference is called for Notice

  • The Candidate is told that whereas he had been to date a mere scholar, that his next step would carry him into action.

  • The Candidate is told that he must from that point forward consider himself as an Instrument in the hands of his Superiors.

  • The Aim of the Order is now fully revealed: To make of the Human Race, without any distinction of nation, condition, or profession, one good and happy family.”

Oath of the llluminatus Minor:

I, N.N. protest before you, the worthy Plenipotentiary of the venerable Order into which I wish to be admitted, that I, with all my possessions, rank, honors, and titles which I hold in political society, am, at bottom, only a man; I can enjoy these things only through my fellow-men, and through them also I may lose them. The approbation and consideration of my fellow-men are indispensably necessary, and I must try to maintain them by all my talents. These I will never use to the prejudice of universal good, but will oppose, with all my might, the enemies of the human race, and of political society. I will embrace every opportunity of saving mankind, by improving my understanding and my affections, and by imparting all important knowledge, as the good and statures of this Order require of me. I bind myself to perpetual silence and unshaken loyalty and submission to the Order, in the persons of my Superiors; here making a faithful and complete surrender of my private judgment, my own will, and every narrow-minded employment of my power and influence. I pledge myself to account the good of the Order as my own, and am ready to serve it with my fortune, my honor, and my blood. Should I, through omission, neglect, passion, or wickedness, behave contrary to this good of the Order, I subject myself to what reproof or punishment my Superiors shall enjoin. The friends and enemies of the Order shall be my friends and enemies; and with respect to both I will conduct myself as directed by the Order, and am ready, in every lawful way, to devote myself it its increase and promotion, and therein to employ all my ability. All this I promise, and protest, without secret reservation, according to the intention of the Society which require from me this engagement. This I do as I am, and as I hope to continue, a Man of Honor.

Illuminatus Major, or Scotch Novice

• The Candidate is represented as depositing an account of his life in the hands of his Sponsor, and this was checked by information derived from the Intelligence Department of the Order.


Intermediary Degrees

Illuminatus Dirigens, or Scotch Knight of lllluminism

• Founded on Ecossais Grades of Masonic Chivalry and reproducing points of their procedure.
• The Candidate was called upon to testify his belief that the Superiors of llluminism were also the unknown and lawful Superiors of Freemasonry.

1. Short Introduction teaching how the holy secret Chapter of Scotch Knights is assembled
2. Fuller accounts and instructions relating to the whole
3. Instructions for the lower classes of Masonry
4. Instructions relating to Mason Lodges in general
5. Account of a reception into this degree, with the bond which each subscribes before he can be admitted
6. Concerning the solemn Chapter for reception
7. Opening of the Chapter
8. Rituals of Reception, and the Oath
9. Shutting of the Chapter
10. Agape, or Love Feast
11. Ceremonies of the consecration of the Chapter
12. Appendixes

1. Appendix A: Explanation of the Symbols of Free Masonry
2. Appendix B: Catechism for the Scotch Knight
3. Appendix C: Secret Cypher


Class of the Lesser Mysteries

Epopt, or Priest of llluminism, or Presbyter

1. An Introduction
2. Further Accounts of the Reception into this degree. The Candidate was hoodwinked and driven by a circuitous route to the lace of assembly. o He was brought into a brilliantly illuminatted Temple, wherein was a vacant throne, by which lay the insignia of royalty, and a cushion whereon was filded a white priestly robe and girdle. o The Candidate was to choose between them, and if he was guided rightly he became a Priest of the Order, when a part of its policy was unveiled to him.
3. The candidate is to read the Instruction in the Third Chamber
4. The Ritual of Reception
5. Instruction for the First Degree of the Priest’s Class, called Instructio in Scientificis
6. Account of the Consecration of a Dean, the Superior of this Lower Order of Priests


Regent, or Prince, or Principatus llluminatus


The political aspects of the Order were developed in this Grade of Knighthood.

1. Directions to the Provincial concerning the dispensation of this degree
2. Ritual of Reception
3. System of Direction for the whole Order
4. Instruction for the whole Regent degree
5. Instruction for the Prefects or Local Superiors
6. Instruction for the Provincials


Class of the Greater Mysteries

Magus, or Philosopher Rex, or Man-King


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Wieshaupt’s biographical notes
David Ferguson

Having read some of the tract and other things about the llluminatus I can’t help noticing that Weishaupfs aim was nothing of the kind, indeed such an aim would have been chronologically impossible; not simply because giant media corporations and telecommunications companies did not exist but because democracy itself had not at that time been established in order to be overthrown. I therefore cannot see a connection with any alleged attempt to displace democratic government in the 21st Century. I hope you will forgive me for indulging in what must seem like a very simplistic bit of filling in the historical background.

Weishaupt and the illuminists were plainly influenced by the emerging philosophies of the enlightenment, for Robison points out the similarity with Toland, and Spinoza is also mentioned; Kant’s idea of mankind coming of age seems to be there as well although Kant is not mentioned. The aim and ambition of the enlightenment was to replace belief in divine revelation with faith in human reason. Political action then should no longer be based on God’s law but on principles discoverable by man. But what were these principles?


Many of the early liberals were believers in a laisez faire approach to economics, ie if governments kept their hands off the market would run in such a way as to ensure long term justice. Monetarism is a modern heir of this view and it is the ideology espoused by right wing politicians and giant media corporations, although as we know the practice is often not free or hands off!

Weishaupt comes from the other end of the post enlightenment political spectrum. He has been described as a socialist (in The Occult Conspiracy) and an anarchist (by Eco) but both these terms are anachronistic since neither of these ideologies emerged until the mid-nineteenth century. None the less he does belong in the libertarian tradition from which these later movements would evolve, a tradition which, curiously enough is sometimes seen as originating from Gerald Winstanley who also allegedly replaces the concept of a transcendent God with that of immanent reason (see Woodcock’s Anarchism).

Weishaupt’s aspirations seem to have been twofold firstly to abolish belief in the Christian God and secondly to establish a libertarian republic. He sees these two running together because he takes the view, held by many at that time, that once you abolish belief in the Christian God man’s natural goodness will flourish (cf eg Rousseau). In some ways his ideology is similar to that of Bakunin Proudhon and Marx who share this view that religion is a barrier to social progress.


But these later writers are looking back on the failure of the first French Republic and asking what went wrong, both forms of socialism (Marxism and anarchism) are, as well as being a reaction to the emergence of industrialism, an attempt to answer this question. For Weishaupt the enemy is the existing social hierarchy, the aristocracy, which must be overthrown in order to create the free republic. Like Bakunin he would not follow the socialist program “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs” but rather say “from each according to his ability to each according to his deeds”, le he would establish a meritocratic republic rather than a truly egalitarian one in the socialist sense.

So how does a plot to overthrow the aristocracy in the 18th century relate to a plot to abolish democracy in the 21st? I can see no connection. My friend Richard who is into occultism tells me that this is because both black and white occultists think in centuries. However in order to do so they would need to be able to do what Marx and all other historicists have failed to do and make accurate long term historical predictions. Occultists have no trouble in believing they can do this because they think they have sources of secret information: if occultism is false this kind of long term planning is not so far as we know possible.

You say:

Not least because of the Masonic blood-oaths, freemasonry is absolutely NOT compatible with Christianity. The uninspiring lead given in today’s mason-embracing Church of England and Opus Dei dominated Catholic church should make us, and them, turn to the opening chapters of Revelation which spell out how established church institutions are going astray, with unbelieving clergy doing their worst and leading the flock over the cliff. Which is where the man-made religion comes in.

The exasperating mess the British church and democracy are in begins to make sense, and further light is shed on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth N’s “powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge”. Maybe you haven’t seen the latest addition to the Bilderberg website maam? [TG]

But the churches in Revelation were not established churches in the modern sense nor does Revelation say that the seven churches are as they are because of any kind of occult conspiracy, therefore such a conspiracy is not needed to explain the state of todays churches (use Ockham’s razor). Similarly if, as is apparent, Weishaupt was being influenced by ideologies that were common at the time, there is little need to assume that the illuminati have made any great contribution to the growth of such ideologies.


The roots of the ideologies which emerged at the time of the enlightenment are quite deep and were established long before the 18th century (specifically look at the roots of Greek thought in pagan religion and the influence of Greek thought on Thomism and the outgrowth of that in medieval Europe eg. Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason, Dooyeweerd’s Roots of Western Culture) The ideology of the enlightenment has retained its power largely because Bible believing Christians have been so intellectually inept.

‘White’ occultists tend to explain social and political problems in terms of a conspiracy because they believe, as Christians do not, that people are naturally good, another key enlightenment belief, but it seems foolishness for Christians to adopt such views.

Of course in the long run paganism and occultism do have a destructive effect on society and on the church and you are right to fight them; the best weapon is the gospel itself. You often write as if totally unaware of the changes in the Church of England since the 1930’s. At that time the conservative batten was very much in the hands of the Anglo-Catholics and evangelicalism, which had been strong in the previous century, was in decline. This is why the questioning of freemasonry came from an Anglo-catholic Walton Hannah.


However Anglo-Catholicism was increasingly moving in a liberal and mystical direction, because of the comparatively weak view of scripture held by many of its leaders. Mystical theology of the type held by liberals like Inge with its emphasis on experience rather than doctrine has certain affinities with occult philosophy, so it is easy for the distinctive content of Christianity to be sidelined. Even so Anglo-Catholicism had some strong dogmatists like Eric Mascall who in some measure supported Hannah.


Since the sixties evangelicalism has reemerged and it is this reemergence which has lead to the declining influence of freemasonry on the C of E something which is recognized by Knight etc. Of course it needs to go further. But you must recognize that the Church of England has increasingly democratized itself during the last century, this means that for better or worse no one, not even the Archbishops, can just get rid of things they don’t like.

It is this conspiracy across the centuries stuff I can’t swallow. The evidence seems weak to the point of nonexistent. Is there in fact any evidence at all to suggest that the llluminatus still exist. By the way what do you make of the claim made in the Catholic encyclopedia of 1910 that Weishaupt converted back to Catholicism before his death? Sound’s unlikely to me.

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