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Enlighten nations; that is to say, efface from the minds of the people what we call religious and political prejudices; make yourself master of the public opinion; and, this empire once established, all the constitutions which govern the world will disappear.—Such are the grand means, such the hopes, on which Weishaupt has been observed in his mysteries to have grounded his hopes of success. We have seen even the sciences involved in the vortex of his conspiracies. They were to be swept into the common mass of ruin with religion, laws, Princes, nations, our towns and stationary habitations.—Vandalism and the era of barbarism were to be revived, and science was to be reduced to that of the nomade and savage clans equal and free. This gigantic mass of destruction could be the operation but of a general corruption and perversion of the public opinion, which is itself dependent on science, or at least upon the reputation of wisdom and knowledge which he possesses who pretends to instruct us. To prepare the attack, therefore, it was necessary to make the sciences serve under the banners of the Sect in the cause of their own annihilation, and through their means captivate the public opinion in favour of the Sect. Its errors once triumphant, and every thing dear and sacred to man vandalized and overthrown; sciences would of themselves shrink back and vanish from before the man savage and free. Such were the fruits of Weishaupt’s meditations, such the spirit which dictated the laws given to his Epopts. This degree was to extend the conquests of the Sect over public opinion by science, or, in other words, to dispense its anti-religious and antisocial doctrines under the bewitching name of science. He entirely devoted his degree of Epopts to the sciences, and may be said to have forestalled them all, that he might usurp and dictate to the public opinion; or, rather, tainted them all, to make them subservient to his views; well assured that they would not survive the contagion. In his Minerval degree, it was the minds of the young adepts that he wished to pervert; but in his degree of Epopt, his means and views expand, and, under the same mask, he aims at nothing less than the perversion of the whole universe. He formed it into a secret academy, whose hidden ramifications, widely spreading throughout the globe, were, by means

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of the disastrous laws he had combined, at one blow to annihilate all society and the empire of science.

The plan may appear inconceivable, and above the reach of the most disorganizing genius; but let the reader remember how clearly it has been proved in the mysteries, that Weishaupt and his followers were firmly resolved to bring back the human race to the days of the Huns and Vandals, and, by means of this Vandalism, to all the ignorance of the nomade and savage clans; and to reduce the standard of science to that of the Equality and Liberty of Sans-culotism. Let the reader now condescend to follow me in the exposition of the lessons which the Sect has appropriated to the instruction of its Epopts, and the organization of their academy.

“The illuminized Priests, or Epopts, are presided over by a Dean chosen by themselves. They are to be known to the inferior degrees only under the appellation of Epopt—their meetings are called Synods. All the Epopts within the circle of the same district compose a Synod; but each district shall contain no more than nine Epopts, exclusive of the Dean and Prefect of the Chapter. The higher superiors may attend these Synods.”

“Of the nine Epopts, seven preside over the sciences distributed under as many heads in the following order:

“I. Physics.—Under this head are comprehended Dioptrics, Catoptrics, Hydraulics and Hydrostatics; Electricity, Magnetism, Attraction, &c.”

“II. Medicine—comprising Anatomy, Chirurgery, Chymistry, &c.”

“III. Mathematics.—Algebra; Architecture, civil and military; Navigation, Mechanics, Astronomy, &c.”

“IV. Natural History.—Agriculture, Gardening, Economics, the Knowledge of Insects and Animals including Man, Mineralogy, Metallurgy, Geology, and the science of the earthly phenomena.”

“V. Politics—which embraces the study of Man, a branch in which the Major Illuminées furnish the materials; Geography, History, Biography, Antiquity, Diplomatics; the political history of Orders, their design, their progress, and their mutual dissentions.” This last article seems to have the divers Orders of Masonry in view. A nota bene is added in the original, with a particular injunction to attend to this article, which the dissentions of the Illuminees and Freemasons had probably rendered of great importance to the Sect.

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