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Insinuants were not members of the order proper, but potential candidates for membership.

Members of any degree were encouraged to keep their eyes open for worthy candidates[1]. The candidate’s recruitment to the order was subject to approval by the member’s superiors and occurred through a process called insinuation. In order for this process to commence, the member had to submit a detailed description of the prospective candidate, which included his civic and family circumstances, character, academic interests, and the member’s thoughts on how the prospective candidate could be of use to the order.

Once approved, the recruiting member, or Insinuator, would gradually stir the Insinuant’s interest in joining a secret society.[2] This took place over the course of a series of conversations and while reading books on philosophy in line with the order’s goals. During this time, the Insinuator closely observed the prospective candidate, conferring with his superiors about his progress, and receiving guidance on how to conduct further conversations with the Insinuant.[3]

The Insinuant did not learn about the existence of the order until the Insinuator and his superiors deemed his enthusiasm and dedication sufficient. After several requests and on approval of the superiors, the Insinuant was then permitted to submit his letter of application, or Obligation (ibid.).

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