If Knigge had expected to learn the promised deep secrets of Freemasonry in the higher degrees of the Illuminati, he was surprisingly calm about Weishaupt's revelation. Weishaupt promised Knigge a free hand in the creation of the higher degrees, and also promised to send him his own notes. For his own part, Knigge welcomed the opportunity to use the order as a vehicle for his own ideas.
His new approach would, he claimed, make the Illuminati more attractive to prospective members in the Protestant kingdoms of Germany. In November the Areopagus advanced Knigge 50 florins to travel to Bavaria, which he did via Swabia and Franconia , meeting and enjoying the hospitality of other Illuminati on his journey. The order had now developed profound internal divisions.
The Eichstaedt command had formed an autonomous province in July , and a rift was growing between Weishaupt and the Areopagus, who found him stubborn, dictatorial, and inconsistent.
Knigge fitted readily into the role of peacemaker. In discussions with the Areopagus and Weishaupt, Knigge identified two areas which were problematic. Weishaupt's emphasis on the recruitment of university students meant that senior positions in the order often had to be filled by young men with little practical experience. Secondly, the anti-Jesuit ethos of the order at its inception had become a general anti-religious sentiment, which Knigge knew would be a problem in recruiting the senior Freemasons that the order now sought to attract.
Knigge felt keenly the stifling grip of conservative Catholicism in Bavaria, and understood the anti-religious feelings that this produced in the liberal Illuminati, but he also saw the negative impression these same feelings would engender in Protestant states, inhibiting the spread of the order in greater Germany.
Both the Areopagus and Weishaupt felt powerless to do anything less than give Knigge a free hand. He had the contacts within and outside of Freemasonry that they needed, and he had the skill as a ritualist to build their projected gradal structure, where they had ground to a halt at Illuminatus Minor , with only the Minerval grade below and the merest sketches of higher grades. The only restrictions imposed were the need to discuss the inner secrets of the highest grades, and the necessity of submitting his new grades for approval.
Meanwhile, the scheme to propagate Illuminatism as a legitimate branch of Freemasonry had stalled. While Lodge Theodore was now in their control, a chapter of "Elect Masters" attached to it only had one member from the order, and still had a constitutional superiority to the craft lodge controlled by the Illuminati. The chapter would be difficult to persuade to submit to the Areopagus, and formed a very real barrier to Lodge Theodore becoming the first mother-lodge of a new Illuminated Freemasonry.
A treaty of alliance was signed between the order and the chapter, and by the end of January four daughter lodges had been created, but independence was not in the chapter's agenda.
Costanza wrote to the Royal York pointing out the discrepancy between the fees dispatched to their new Grand Lodge and the service they had received in return. The Royal York, unwilling to lose the revenue, offered to confer the "higher" secrets of Freemasonry on a representative that their Munich brethren would dispatch to Berlin.
Costanza accordingly set off for Prussia on 4 April , with instructions to negotiate a reduction in Theodore's fees while he was there. On the way, he managed to have an argument with a Frenchman on the subject of a lady with whom they were sharing a carriage.
The Frenchman sent a message ahead to the king, some time before they reached Berlin, denouncing Costanza as a spy. He was only freed from prison with the help of the Grand Master of Royal York, and was expelled from Prussia having accomplished nothing. Knigge's initial plan to obtain a constitution from London would, they realised, have been seen through by the chapter.
Until such time as they could take over other masonic lodges that their chapter could not control, they were for the moment content to rewrite the three degrees for the lodges which they administered. On 20 January Knigge tabulated his new system of grades for the order. These were arranged in three classes:.
Knigge's recruitment from German Freemasonry was far from random. He targeted the masters and wardens, the men who ran the lodges, and were often able to place the entire lodge at the disposal of the Illuminati.
In Aachen , Baron de Witte, master of Constancy lodge, caused every member to join the order. In this way, the order expanded rapidly in central and southern Germany, and obtained a foothold in Austria.
Moving into the Spring of , the handful of students that had started the order had swelled to about members, only 20 of the new recruits being students. In Munich, the first half of saw huge changes in the government of Lodge Theodore. In February, Weishaupt had offered to split the lodge, with the Illuminati going their own way and the chapter taking any remaining traditionalists into their own continuation of Theodore. At this point, the chapter unexpectedly capitulated, and the Illuminati had complete control of lodge and chapter.
In June, both lodge and chapter sent letters severing relations with Royal York, citing their own faithfulness in paying for their recognition, and Royal York's failure to provide any instruction into the higher grades.
Their neglect of Costanza, failure to defend him from malicious charges or prevent his expulsion from Prussia, were also cited. They had made no effort to provide Costanza with the promised secrets, and the Munich masons now suspected that their brethren in Berlin relied on the mystical French higher grades which they sought to avoid. Lodge Theodore was now independent. The Rite of Strict Observance was now in a critical state.
Suspicion turned to open contempt when it transpired that Carl regarded the Stuart heir to the British throne as the true Grand Master, and the lodges of the Strict Observance all but ignored their Grand Master. This impasse led to the Convent of Wilhelmsbad. Delayed from 15 October , the last convention of the Strict Observance finally opened on 16 July in the spa town of Wilhelmsbad on the outskirts of now part of Hanau. Ostensibly a discussion of the future of the order, the 35 delegates knew that the Strict Observance in its current form was doomed, and that the Convent of Wilhelmsbad would be a struggle over the pieces between the German mystics , under Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their host Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel , and the Martinists , under Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.
The only dissenting voices to mystical higher grades were Johann Joachim Christoph Bode , who was horrified by Martinism, but whose proposed alternatives were as yet unformed, and Franz Dietrich von Ditfurth, a judge from Wetzlar and master of the Joseph of the Three Helmets lodge there, who was already a member of the Illuminati. Ditfurth publicly campaigned for a return to the basic three degrees of Freemasonry, which was the least likely outcome of the convention. The mystics already had coherent plans to replace the higher degrees.
The lack of a coherent alternative to the two strains of mysticism allowed the Illuminati to present themselves as a credible option. Ditfurth, prompted and assisted by Knigge, who now had full authority to act for the order, became their spokesman. Knigge's original plan to propose an alliance between the two orders was rejected by Weishaupt, who saw no point in an alliance with a dying order. His new plan was to recruit the masons opposed to the "Templar" higher degree of the Strict Observance.
At the convent, Ditfurth blocked the attempts of Willermoz and Hesse to introduce their own higher grades by insisting that full details of such degrees be revealed to the delegates. The frustration of the German mystics led to their enrolling Count Kollowrat with the Illuminati with a view to later affiliation. Ditfurth's own agenda was to replace all of the higher degrees with a single fourth degree, with no pretensions to further masonic revelations. Finding no support for his plan, he left the convent prematurely, writing to the Areopagus that he expected nothing good of the assembly.
In an attempt to satisfy everybody, the Convent of Wilhelmsbad achieved little. They renounced the Templar origins of their ritual, while retaining the Templar titles, trappings and administrative structure. Charles of Hesse and Ferdinand of Brunswick remained at the head of the order, but in practice the lodges were almost independent.
Crucially, individual lodges of the order were now allowed to fraternise with lodges of other systems. The new "Scottish Grade" introduced with the Lyon ritual of Willermoz was not compulsory, each province and prefecture was free to decide what, if anything, happened after the three craft degrees. Finally, in an effort to show that something had been achieved, the convent regulated at length on etiquette, titles, and a new numbering for the provinces.
What the Convent of Wilhelmsbad actually achieved was the demise of the Strict Observance. It renounced its own origin myth, along with the higher degrees which bound its highest and most influential members. It abolished the strict control which had kept the order united, and alienated many Germans who mistrusted Martinism. Bode, who was repelled by Martinism, immediately entered negotiations with Knigge, and finally joined the Illuminati in January Charles of Hesse joined the following month.
Knigge's first efforts at an alliance with the intact German Grand Lodges failed, but Weishaupt persisted. He proposed a new federation where all of the German lodges would practise an agreed, unified system in the essential three degrees of Freemasonry, and be left to their own devices as to which, if any, system of higher degrees they wished to pursue.
This would be a federation of Grand Lodges, and members would be free to visit any of the "blue" lodges, in any jurisdiction. All lodge masters would be elected, and no fees would be paid to any central authority whatsoever.
Groups of lodges would be subject to a "Scottish Directorate", composed of members delegated by lodges, to audit finances, settle disputes, and authorise new lodges. These in turn would elect Provincial Directorates, who would elect inspectors, who would elect the national director.
This system would correct the current imbalance in German Freemasonry, where masonic ideals of equality were preserved only in the lower three "symbolic" degrees. The various systems of higher degrees were dominated by the elite who could afford researches in alchemy and mysticism. To Weishaupt and Knigge, the proposed federation was also a vehicle to propagate Illuminism throughout German Freemasonry. Their intention was to use their new federation, with its emphasis on the fundamental degrees, to remove all allegiance to Strict Observance, allowing the "eclectic" system of the Illuminati to take its place.
The circular announcing the new federation outlined the faults of German freemasonry, that unsuitable men with money were often admitted on the basis of their wealth, that the corruption of civil society had infected the lodges. Having advocated the de-regulation of the higher grades of the German lodges, the Illuminati now announced their own, from their "unknown Superiors". Knigge, in a letter to all the Royal York lodges, now accused that Grand Lodge of decadence.
Their Freemasonry had allegedly been corrupted by the Jesuits. Strict Observance was now attacked as a creation of the Stuarts, devoid of all moral virtue. The Zinnendorf rite of the Grand Landlodge of the Freemasons of Germany was suspect because its author was in league with the Swedes.
This direct attack had the opposite effect to that intended by Weishaupt, it offended many of its readers. The Grand Lodge of the Grand Orient of Warsaw, which controlled Freemasonry in Poland and Lithuania, was happy to participate in the federation only as far as the first three degrees.
Their insistence on independence had kept them from the Strict Observance, and would now keep them from the Illuminati, whose plan to annex Freemasonry rested on their own higher degrees.
By the end of January the Illuminati's masonic contingent had seven lodges. It was not only the clumsy appeal of the Illuminati that left the federation short of members. Lodge Theodore was recently formed and did not command respect like the older lodges.
Most of all, the Freemasons most likely to be attracted to the federation saw the Illuminati as an ally against the mystics and Martinists, but valued their own freedom too highly to be caught in another restrictive organisation.
Even Ditfurth, the supposed representative of the Illuminati at Wilhelmsbad, had pursued his own agenda at the convent. The non-mystical Frankfurt lodges created an "Eclectic Alliance", which was almost indistinguishable in constitution and aims from the Illuminati's federation.
Far from seeing this as a threat, after some discussion the Illuminati lodges joined the new alliance. Three Illuminati now sat on the committee charged with writing the new masonic statutes. Aside from strengthening relations between their three lodges, the Illuminati seem to have gained no advantage from this manoeuvre. Ditfurth, having found a masonic organisation that worked towards his own ambitions for Freemasonry, took little interest in the Illuminati after his adherence to the Eclectic Alliance.
In reality, the creation of the Eclectic Alliance had undermined all of the subtle plans of the Illuminati to spread their own doctrine through Freemasonry. Although their hopes of mass recruitment through Freemasonry had been frustrated, the Illuminati continued to recruit well at an individual level.
In Bavaria, the succession of Charles Theodore initially led to a liberalisation of attitudes and laws, but the clergy and courtiers, guarding their own power and privilege, persuaded the weak-willed monarch to reverse his reforms, and Bavaria's repression of liberal thought returned. This reversal led to a general resentment of the monarch and the church among the educated classes, which provided a perfect recruiting ground for the Illuminati. A number of Freemasons from Prudence lodge, disaffected by the Martinist rites of the Chevaliers Bienfaisants , joined lodge Theodore, who set themselves up in a gardened mansion which contained their library of liberal literature.
Illuminati circles in the rest of Germany expanded. While some had only modest gains, the circle in Mainz almost doubled from 31 to 61 members. The total number of verifiable members at the end of is around Weishaupt and Hertel later claimed a figure of 2, The higher figure is largely explained by the inclusion of members of masonic lodges that the Illuminati claimed to control, but it is likely that the names of all the Illuminati are not known, and the true figure lies somewhere between and 2, The importance of the order lay in its successful recruitment of the professional classes, churchmen, academics, doctors and lawyers, and its more recent acquisition of powerful benefactors.
There were notable failures. Johann Kaspar Lavater , the Swiss poet and theologian, rebuffed Knigge. He did not believe the order's humanitarian and rationalist aims were achievable by secret means. He further believed that a society's drive for members would ultimately submerge its founding ideals.
Christoph Friedrich Nicolai , the Berlin writer and bookseller, became disillusioned after joining. He found its aims chimeric, and thought that the use of Jesuit methods to achieve their aims was dangerous. He remained in the order, but took no part in recruitment. At all costs, Weishaupt wished to keep the existence of the order secret from the Rosicrucians , who already had a considerable foothold in German Freemasonry. While clearly Protestant, the Rosicrucians were anything but anticlerical, pro-monarchic, and held views clearly conflicting with the Illuminati vision of a rationalist state run by philosophers and scientists.
The Rosicrucians were not above promoting their own brand of mysticism with fraudulent seances. A conflict became inevitable as the existence of the Illuminati became more evident, and as prominent Rosicrucians, and mystics with Rosicrucian sympathies, were actively recruited by Knigge and other over-enthusiastic helpers. Kolowrat was already a high ranking Rosicrucian, and the mystic Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel had a very low opinion of the rationalist higher grades of the Illuminati. Wöllner had a specially engineered room in which he convinced potential patrons of the effectiveness of Rosicrucian "magic", and his order had acquired effective control of the "Three Globes" and its attached lodges.
Through this mouthpiece, the Illuminati were accused of atheism and revolutionary tendencies. In April Frederick the Great informed Charles of Hesse that the Berlin lodges had documents belonging to the Minervals or Illuminati which contained appalling material, and asked if he had heard of them.
All Berlin masons were now warned against the order, which was now accused of Socinianism , and of using the liberal writings of Voltaire and others, alongside the tolerance of Freemasonry, to undermine all religion.
In November the Three Globes described the Illuminati as a masonic sect which sought to undermine Christianity and turn Freemasonry into a political system. Their final anathema, in November , refused to recognise any Illuminati as Freemasons. In Austria, the Illuminati were blamed for anti-religious pamphlets that had recently appeared. The Rosicrucians spied on Joseph von Sonnenfels and other suspected Illuminati, and their campaign of denunciation within Freemasonry completely shut down Illuminati recruitment in Tyrol.
The Bavarian Illuminati, whose existence was already known to the Rosicrucians from an informant, were further betrayed by the reckless actions of Ferdinand Maria Baader, an Areopagite who now joined the Rosicrucians. Shortly after his admission it was made known to his superiors that he was one of the Illuminati, and he was informed that he could not be a member of both organisations.
His letter of resignation stated that the Rosicrucians did not possess secret knowledge, and ignored the truly Illuminated, specifically identifying Lodge Theodore as an Illuminati Lodge.
As the Illuminati embraced Freemasonry and expanded outside Bavaria, the council of the Areopagites was replaced by an ineffective "Council of Provincials". The Areopagites, however, remained as powerful voices within the Order, and began again to bicker with Weishaupt as soon as Knigge left Munich. Weishaupt responded by privately slandering his perceived enemies in letters to his perceived friends.
More seriously, Weishaupt succeeded in alienating Knigge. Weishaupt had ceded considerable power to Knigge in deputising him to write the ritual, power he now sought to regain. Knigge had elevated the Order from a tiny anti-clerical club to a large organisation, and felt that his work was under-acknowledged. Weishaupt's continuing anti-clericalism clashed with Knigge's mysticism, and recruitment of mystically inclined Freemasons was a cause of friction with Weishaupt and other senior Illuminati, such as Ditfurth.
Er bereitet seinen Suizid vor. In seiner Vorlesung schweift er vom Thema der Buchbesprechung ab und hält einen Vortrag über die Diskriminierung von Minderheiten, die eine Folge von Angst sei. Einer seiner Schüler, Kenny, folgt ihm danach und redet mit ihm über die Vorlesung. Aufgrund seines geplanten Suizids räumt Falconer später sein Büro aus und wirft einen langen letzten Blick auf seinen Arbeitsplatz.
Auf dem Parkplatz trifft er erneut auf Kenny, der weiteres Interesse an seinem Professor bekundet, indem er sich mit ihm zum Kaffeetrinken verabreden möchte. Falconer nimmt diese Einladung nicht an. Auch ein Foto, das seinen langjährigen Partner nackt am Strand liegend zeigt, ist unter den Sachen.
Dieses erzählt ihm von ihrem Skorpion und wie sie und ihr Bruder diesen füttern. Einmal habe ihr Vater gemeint, Mr. Die Mutter kommt und lädt George zu einem Dinner ein, doch dieser schlägt die Einladung aus. Er wird durch einen Anruf seiner Freundin Charley unterbrochen.
Charley und George treffen sich im Haus Charleys. Sie essen, tanzen, rauchen und trinken Gin. Alkoholisiert teilen sich beide gegenseitig ihr Leid mit. Charley sieht sich perspektivlos in ihrer Rolle als geschiedene Hausfrau, deren einzige Tochter bereits erwachsen ist.
Später trifft George in der Bar auf Kenny, in der er, wie es die vorherige Rückblende gezeigt hat, Jim kennengelernt hatte. Er wollte Alkohol und Zigaretten zum Mitnehmen kaufen, ändert jedoch seinen Plan, als er Kenny sieht. Falconer und Kenny unterhalten sich über das Älterwerden und den Tod und den daraus resultierenden Sinn des Lebens. Daraufhin schwimmen beide gemeinsam nackt im Meer, wobei sich Falconer am Kopf verletzt.
Beide gehen danach zu Falconer nach Hause. Kenny findet zufällig das Nacktfoto des verstorbenen Jim. Kenny und Falconer betrinken sich und schlafen ein.
Als Falconer später aufwacht, findet er Kenny auf dem Sofa schlafend. Dabei entdeckt Falconer auch seinen Revolver neben Kenny, den dieser zuvor wohl gefunden hatte. Als er sieht, dass der Junge sich augenscheinlich Sorgen um ihn gemacht hat und deswegen den Revolver an sich nahm, verfliegen seine Selbstmordpläne und er verbrennt seine Abschiedsbriefe.
Als er sich wieder ins Bett legen will, spürt er plötzlich einen heftigen Schmerz in der Brust und fällt zu Boden. Er erleidet einen Herzinfarkt und stirbt.
Mehr als 20 Jahre später war Ford fest entschlossen, einen Film zu drehen, und ihm fiel sofort A Single Man ein, das Buch, welches er in den 80ern gelesen hatte. Fade to Black wurde von Tom Ford eigens für seinen ersten Film gegründet.
Die deutsche Verleihfirma ist The Weinstein Company. When Christopher Isherwood wrote this book in , set in , it was a landmark book because it depicted a same sex relationship in an absolutely matter-of-fact way. Occasionally to this day I still have friends who will say something to me about my lifestyle.
I have lived with the same person for the last 23 years, we read books, we walk our dogs, we argue sometimes, we go on vacation, we cook dinner.
Well, we have a life very much like it is depicted here with George and Jim. The end of your movie, the end of my movie. And I think if we can realise that and if we can always be aware that the end does come, it helps us appreciate all the small things in our lives that happen every day.