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The members were to use aliases within the society. Law students Massenhausen, Bauhof, Merz and Sutor became respectively Ajax, Agathon, Tiberius and Erasmus Roterodamus. Massenhausen proved initially the most active in expanding the society.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.
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.
By the end of summer 1778 the order had 27 members (still counting Massenhausen) in 5 commands; Munich (Athens), Ingolstadt (Eleusis), Ravensberg (Sparta), Freysingen (Thebes), and Eichstaedt (Erzurum).
During this early period, the order had three grades of Novice, Minerval, and Illuminated Minerval, of which only the Minerval grade involved a complicated ceremony.
Whether someone believes the Illuminati exists today or not does not change the fact that the Illuminati did, in fact, exist in the late 18th century.
The Illuminati, a secret society, was founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt (“The Illuminati” par. Adam Weishaupt was a former Jesuit [type of education and a branch off of3).
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 deeply anti-clerical, resolving to spread the ideals of the Enlightenment (Aufklärung) through some sort of secret society of like-minded individuals.
In 1778, 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.