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Mysteria

Mysteria

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Published by: cougar1974 on Jul 11, 2009
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06/24/2013

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The Comiq has a

place everywhere in

history: them

is no lack of it in secret

societies; indeed, in such societies

it assumes many different forms. For there be secret

societies that would be comic; there be secret societies

that are comic without

knowing it; and

finally there be

men and

parties that

by their action

against so-called

secret societies make themselves comic without

intending

it.

While Goethe lived at

Weimar, there was formed in

that

city a satirical

Society of Chevaliers.

Curiously

enough it was suggested by Frederic von Goue, a

Knight

of the Strict Observance and a

strong believer in the

descent of

Freemasonry from

Templarism, but a comical

old soul withal, and author of a

parody of Goethe's

Werther. The members took knightly names: Goethe,

for

example, was Goetz von Berlichingen; they spoke in

the

style of

chivalry, and

they had four

degrees. In sar-

castic allusion to the revelations promised (but never

communicated) in the

high pseudomasonic degrees, the

degrees of the Society of Chevaliers were, i, Transition;

2, Transition's Transition; 3, Transition's Transition to

Transition; 4, Transition's Transition to Transition of

230

SECRET SOCIETIES OF VARIOUS KINDS

231

Transition. Only the initiated understood the

profound

meaning of the

Degrees.
Another society of similar nature was that of the
Mad Court Councilors founded at Frankfort-on-the-

Main by the

physician Ehrmann in

1809. Membership

consisted

only in the

receipt from the founder

(in recog-

nition of some humorous piece) of a

Diploma written in

burlesque style in

Latin, and

bearing the

impress of a

broad seal.

Among men honored with the

diploma were

Jean Paul, E. M. Arndt, Goethe, Iffland, Schlosser,

Creuzer, Chladny, etc. Goethe earned his

diploma by a

parody of his own "Westoestlicher Diwan," "Occidenta-

lischcr Orientalismus."

Many societies of this sort have since

arisen, but

those of Vienna are

worthy of

special mention. One of

these was called ''Ludlamshoehle," after a not

very suc-

cessful drama of

Oehlenschlager's. It had

many dis-

tinguished men in its

membership. The members were

called

Bodies, the candidates Shadows.

Though mirth

was the

only object, the

police thought it best to

sup-

press the

society in 1826. In

1855 appeared the Green

Island, a

comic-chevalresque society, though it rendered

good service to literature and art. Several writers and

actors of note

belonged to it. A society, the Allschlar-

affia was founded at

Prague in the 'fifties, which, in

1885,

had

eighty-five affiliated societies in

Germany, Austria,

Switzerland and other countries. A congress of the

leagued societies met at

Leipsic in

1876, and another at

Prague in

1883. The president of each Schlaraffenreich

(or society) was called Uhu, but on festive occasions was

Aha, and in

condemning offenses

against the Allschlar-

affia, Oho.

232

HYSTERIA

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