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Lecture: "Secret Societies – The Illuminati Order in Gotha and Thuringia 1783–1787"

Under the title "Secret Societies – The Illuminati Order in Gotha and Thuringia 1783–1787", Dr Markus Meumann and Dr Olaf Simons from the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt invite you to a lecture in the Café of the Ducal Museum of Friedenstein Castle in Gotha on Thursday, 13 July at 7 pm. The event is part of the supporting programme to the current exhibition "Freemasons and Mysteries of Egypt in Gotha" of the Friedenstein Castle Foundation Gotha in cooperation with the research centre.

On 1 May 1776, the Ingolstadt university professor Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830) and five of his students founded the secret organisation of the "Perfectibilists", which from 1778 began to infiltrate the Masonic lodges in German-speaking countries under the name "Illuminati Order": Selected members secretly set up "minerval churches" affiliated to their respective lodges, in which they devoted themselves to Enlightenment themes.

In January 1783, Duke Ernst II of Gotha joined the Illuminati Order and permitted the establishment of a Minerval Church in his city of residence with supporting members from the lodge "Zum Rautenkranz". The leadership and organisational centre of the Gotha Illuminati group was the Minerval Magistrate. As early as 1784, Ernst II rose to the position of Inspector of the Order's third inspection, "Abyssinia" (Upper and Lower Saxony), as well as Coadjutor of the National Superior of the Illuminati Order in Germany, which he succeeded in 1785. In Gotha, under Duke Ernst II, an Illuminati headquarters with a model character was to be installed.

The Gotha Research Centre at the University of Erfurt is a central point of contact for Illuminati research with the "Arbeitsstelle Illuminatenforschung" (Illuminati Research Centre) founded in 2018. Nowhere else has research on the Illuminati Order been as intensive as in Gotha in recent years. In their lecture, Dr. Markus Meumann and Dr. Olaf Simons will look at the time when the Illuminati Order was active in Gotha and Thuringia.

Admission to the event is 8 euros (reduced rate 4 euros).