Seriously, Weishaupt managed to alienate Knigge. Weishaupt had ceded considerable power to Knigge to entrust him with the writing of the ritual he now wanted to recover. Knigge had elevated the Order from a tiny anti-clerical club to a large organization and felt his work was underrated. Weishaupt`s persistent anticlericalism came into conflict with Knigges` mysticism, and the recruitment of mystical Freemasons was a cause of friction with Weishaupt and other high-level illuminators like Ditfurth. Things got worse above the priest`s degree. The consensus among many enlightened was that the ritual was flowery and poorly designed and the insignia are childish and expensive. Some refused to use it, others treated it. Weishaupt asked Knigge to rewrite the ritual. Knigge said he was already circulating with Weishaupt`s blessing as ancestral. It fell on deaf ears. Weishaupt told other Illuminites that the priestly ritual was flawed because Knigge had invented it.

Insulted, Knigge threatened to tell the world how much he had invented the Illuminati ritual. Knigge`s attempt to create a convention of areopagites proved unsuccessful, as most of them trusted him even less than Weishaupt. In July 1784, Knigge left the Order by agreement, under which he returned all relevant documents, and Weishaupt issued a withdrawal of any defamation against him. [20] By putting Knigge out of office, Weishaupt deprived his best theorist, recruiter and apologist. [18] Another class included the rose cruisers, which claimed to have originated in 1422, but attracted public attention in 1537. Their teachings combined something of Egyptian Hermeticism, Christian Gnostizism, Jewish Kabbalah, alchemy, and a multitude of other occult beliefs and practices. The first writing received, which mentions the Order of the Cross of Roses, was the Fama Fraternitatis, first published in 1614, but which probably circulated a little earlier in manuscript form. It recounts the journey of the so-called founder of the movement, Christian Rosenkreuz, to Damascus, Damcar (a legendary hidden city in Arabia), Egypt and Fez, where he was well received and took possession of many secret wisdoms.

He finally returned to Germany, where he elected three more, to whom he inserted this wisdom and thus founded the Order. Subsequently, the number was increased to eight who separated and each went to their own country. One of the six articles they assumed was that the Brotherhood was to remain secret for 100 years. At the end of 120 years, the secret tomb and perfectly preserved body of the founder were discovered by one of the members of the Order at the time, as well as some documents and symbols much appreciated by rose cruisers. The sacred vault was covered again, the members of the Order dispersed and the location of the vault was lost to history. The Fama ends with an invitation to “a few” to join the brotherhood. Among those believed to have been associated with the Order were the German alchemist Michael Maier, the British physician Robert Fludd, and the British philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon….