Tenth and Last Part of the Code of the Illuminees.—General Idea of that Government, and of the Share which the Inferior Classes of Illuminism bear in it.
It is not enough for the founder of a Sect of Conspirators to have fixed the precise object of his plots, the trials and degrees through which his adepts are to rise insensibly to the acquisition of his profoundest mysteries. His accomplices must form but one body animated by one spirit; its members must be moved by the same laws, under the inspection and government of the same chiefs, and all must tend toward the same object. Such a genius as Weishaupt’s could not be suspected of having overlooked in his Code so important a means of success. From what I have already said, the reader will have observed what connection and subordination subsisted in the gradation of his mysteries; how all the adepts of a given town formed, notwithstanding the inequality of their degrees, but one and the same academy of Conspirators, while each one laboured separately at the overthrow of religion and the laws in the state in which he lived. In this academy the Candidate and the Novice are under the direction of the Insinuator, who introduces them into the Minerval Lodges; these Lodges are governed by the Minor Illuminees, who in their turn are inspected by the Major Illuminees. Next to these preparatory degrees follow the intermediary or Masonic degree, called the Scotch Knight; and his power extends on the one side over the Major Illuminees, and on the other over the Illuminized Masons; or, in general, over all that part of the Order stiled in the Code the lower part of the edifice. After these we meet the Epopts and Regents or Princes of the lesser mysteries, and lastly, in the higher mysteries, the Mage and Man-King.
The aggregate of all these degrees forms a complete academy of Conspirators, and impendent ruin threatens the country where such a one exists. The Magistrate and the Citizen may expect to see their property and their religion annihilated. The Sect recognizes no country but the universe, or rather acknowledges none; the very term country is a blasphemy against the rights of man, against Equality and Liberty. What each member in his particular academy performs by himself, is performed throughout all of them by the Sect in general, and the combined efforts of the whole are regularly directed toward the concerted plan of devastation. The Miners have received
their instructions, that each may bore his subterraneous galleries, and lodge the chamber of his mines in such a manner that partial explosions may forward the views of the Sect, without endamaging the grand chamber, which shall involve the whole world in the premeditated explosion of universal destruction. To produce this effect, general laws and mutual communications, common chiefs and directors are requisite. Each Conspirator, wherever his field of action may lie, must be certain that he acts in concert with his Brethren, that he will not be crossed in his plans, but on the contrary meet every where with support and corresponding agents.
Weishaupt was aware, that the farther the sphere of disorganization was to extend the more perfect should be the organization of his power. The more eager he was to call down universal anarchy, and make it take place of all laws, the more did he wish to establish subordination, and concentrate the forces of the Order, the better to direct its motions. To accomplish this, the oath of implicit obedience to Superiors was not enough. It was not sufficient for the adept to have blindly submitted his life and fortune to the despotic power of unknown chiefs, should they ever suspect him of treachery or rebellion. The Superiors themselves were to be bound by laws and principles common to all, that they might proceed in all points by a regular and uniform impulse.
It cost Weishaupt much meditation before he could perfect his plan of government as he wished. Five years after the establishment of the Sect, he writes “This machine of ours must be so perfectly simple that a child could direct it;” and still later he writes, “allow me time to digest my speculations, that I may properly marshal our forces.” 1
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