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Illuminati Minerval

The Minerval initiation ceremony was held at night in a solitary room with the windows hermetically shut. The room was lit by 3 oil lamps covered with green lampshades. The Candidate was left to reflect in a dark room for 10-15 minutes. He then pledged to keep eternal silence, to inviolable loyalty to the Order and to blind obeisance to the orders of the Superiors. He agreed to whatever punishment the Order would impose on him if he were to break his oath.

The new Disciple of Minerva was then was given the passphrase necessary to gain access to Minerval Assemblies and Minerval Academies. Minervals Academies or Schools had libraries of hard to find and banned books. Brothers were encouraged to steal rare books from nobles and monasteries.

The Censor would go around to each individual brother and request the password which was gently whispered mouth to ear.

The passphrase was derived from Book 6 of Virgil’s Aeneid :

ἑхὰς, ἑхὰς ἔστε βέϐηλοι

If a brother didn’t know or mispronounced the password, the Censor would cry out:

ἑхὰς, ἑхὰς ὅστις ἀλλότϱιος!

To which the whole assembly would reply:

ἑхὰς, ἑхὰς ὅστις ἀλντϱός

“Procul o procul este profane.” or “Be off, O be gone, ye uninitiated.” See Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati p.213

grab hand and gently press little finger into brother’s hand 3 times.

Illuminati Minerval sign of recognition

Illuminati Minerval Medallion
The letters P.M.C.V. stands for Per me caeci vident. (Through me the blind see.)

Illuminati Minor

Brothers chosen to rise to the rank of Illuminati Minor or Illuminati Master did so without much fanfare. After a brief play-act in which the initiate’s intentions were questioned, the new Illuminati Minor received a medallion and the degree’s password, grip and sign of recognition.


Cave ne cadas. (Beware of falling from your high position.)

Grab hand and gently press the back of a brother’s hand 3 times with thumb.

Illuminati Minor Sign of recognition

Illuminati Minors practiced their skills as Scrutators (examiners) on a few Minervals. Those who did well could rise to the rank of Illuminati Major.

Minors were given readings and were gradually introduced to the anti-Christian and anti-Monarchical goals of the order. If a brother did not eventually reach these conclusions he was tagged Sta Bene and would not advance any further. He was then guided towards alchemy, deciphering hieroglyphics (the Rosetta Stone was only discovered in 1799) and other pointless activities of the Masonic playground.

Additional semester passphrase:

Q: Who is the light the brightest?

A: In {city name}

Q: Who sees it best?

A: {person’s name}

Illuminati Minerval and Illuminati Minor Degrees is an excerpt from Book 3 – Secrets of the Bavarian Illuminati


1st Class: THE NURSERY
2nd Class: Freemasonry
3rd Class: Mysteries

Part 3: Bavarian Illuminati Membership

Part 4: The End of the Bavarian Illuminati

Part 5: Illuminati in Legend

Illuminati Legend is an abridged version of What is the Illuminati?.

Main sources:

» René Le Forestier Les Illumines de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie Allemande

» Josef Wäges, Jeva Singh-Anand and Reinhard Markner Ritual & Doctrine of the Illuminati (working title)

» Terry Melanson Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati

» All Sources