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They certainly aren’t any powerful today. The main aim of the Stein group, reduced to less than a dozen members, is to survive. Engel’s group did not have any particularpower. It had a certain cultural influence and initiated two distinguished novelists, Gustav Meyrink (1868-1932) and Franz Spunda (1890-1963), but this was rather limitedto the occult subculture itself. The Bavarian Illuminati were a much more important organization, and deserve more than a footnote in German history. They managed toinclude among their members three ruling princes, Duke Charles August of Saxony-Weimar (1757-1828), Duke Ernst II of Saxony-Gotha (1745-1804), and Duke Ferdinand ofBrunswick (1721-1792). In 1783 Duke Charles August persuaded two famous protegés of his, Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) and Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), at thattime the two leading German intellectuals, to join him among the Illuminati, although both, having been initiated, were never particularly active in the Order. Weishaupt andhis close associates, unbeknownst to these princes and luminaries, were able to use the Illuminati for a very real political conspiracy, aimed at seizing power inBavaria, which came close to succeed. Having said so much, it is equally important not to exaggerate the Bavarian Illuminati’s role, which was close to non-existent outsideGermany, and to remember that by 1790 they had fully ceased to exist. Those who want to persuade us that a secret Illuminati cabal did lead the world from the Renaissance tothe 19th century, and continues to do so today, have a very difficult burden of proof, and never even came close to produce documents or evidence that such is the case.
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