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Manifestations of the Neo-Rosicrucian Current

This provisional list of modern Rosicrucian groups has been drawn up by Frater Melchior, and reflects the judgements and views of his personal research. Both the author and the alchemy web site would welcome any amendments or additions to this listing. Further details of some of these organisations can be found at the website organised by Frater Melchior and in his forthcoming book on the subject.

  • Rosicrucian Fellowship (Association of Christian Mystics) (RF) was established by the Dane, Carl Louis von Grasshof (Max Heindel) [1865-1919], between 1908-1911. Rather than claiming that his group was the descendants of the early Rosicrucian brethren, Heindel applied the term "Fellowship" to signify that they were rather inspirated by the original brotherhood. Nevertheless, he maintained a story about a personal initiation, which allegedly took place on a mountain in Germany. Heindel postulated further that the RF should prepare the coming of the true and original order. The teachings of the RF is mainly based on the writings of Heindel, which in itself is influenced by his early studies of Theosophy & Anthrosophy. He had even been a former pupil of the Yugoslavian/Austrian creator of Antroposophy; the "Rosicrucian" Dr. Rudolph Steiner [1861-1925]. The so-called «Rosicrucian tables of houses & ephimerides», are a product of Heindels movement, and astrology is part of their teachings. Their periodical is called "Rays from the Rosy Cross". RF has also been a publisher of several books, including the works of Heindel, and his Magnum Opus called "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception". RF do not work in lodges, but organize themselves in churches, and resembles more a religion than an order. There are a few criterias for membership, as for instance they do not admit professional hypnotists, divinators and astrologers. Their original headquarters used to be in Seattle, but were later moved to Oceanside, California, where it is still located.

  • Lectorium Rosicrucianum (International School of the Golden Rosycross) (LR) was founded by Jan van Rijckenborgh (real name: Jan Leene a.k.a. John Twine) [1896-1968] and his brother Z.W. Leene [1892-1938]. They started their work in 1924 with "Het Rozekruisers Genootschap" a Dutch subsidiary of the "Rosicrucian Fellowship". In 1936 they split off and went on their own, kept a low profile during WW2 and officially founded the Lectorium in 1945. Both Catharose de Petri (H. Stok-Huizer) [1902-1990] and Jan van Rijckenborg were Grandmasters at the same time. However, after van Rijckenborgs death in 1968, Catharose de Petri continued in charge until she passed away too, and after this the LR have not appointed any new Grandmasters, but are instead operating under the direction by a collective of 13 ("The International Spiritual Directorate of 13"). LR considers themselves as a modern manifestation of the Gnostic and Catharic traditions, continuing the original purpose that once was the cause to such manifestations as Theosophy and Freemasonry. Their teachings seem very devotional, and can surely be defined as religious, notwithstanding Christian. Furthermore, rituals are not practiced by this group, and they also distance themselves from other common occult practises. The members are expected to live by several virtues, and membership in other orders are disregarded. One of it's most prominent members is Joost R. Ritman founder/collector of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica of Amsterdam. It is rumoured that members of the Dutch royal family are initiates of the Lectorium. LR is the publisher of a quarterly periodical called "Pentagram" (formerly known as "The Topstone"), as well as books by their founders. Their headquarters are still in the Netherlands, and growing rapidly they have at least 15.000 adherents, including the worldwide branches.

  • Order of the temple of the Rosy Cross (OTRC) was founded in London, 1912, by Mrs. Annie Besant [1847-1933], Mrs. Marie Russak (Hotchener) and Mr.H. Wedgwood. The membership of this order was mostely consisting of Theosophists and Co-Masons («Le Droit Humain»), as their leaders was also active in these groups. They worked with transcendental ceremonial magic, and claimed to be representing Templarism as well as Rosicrucianism (which they regarded as very related). Their teachings may be perceived as Theosophy presented through a Rosicrucian frame. OTRC was not only a doctrinal order, but they were also engaged in several cultural activities. The order was not very widespread, allthough they for instance got a Norwegian branch in 1914. It seems that the order eventually dissolved around 1918.

  • Corona Fellowship of Rosicrucians (CFR) was created about the same time as the OTRC was closed down. A former member of the OTRC founded this order together with a certain «Frater Aurelius», author of several esoteric essays. It is perhaps noteworthy that they created something called New Rosicrucian Theatre in Christenchurch, Hampshire, which was among others were headed by Annie Besant's daughter, Mabel Besant Scott. It is in this forum that the founder of Wicca (the modern «witch» movement) Mr. Gerald Gardner [1884-1964], alleged that he first encountered "Wicca" (or rather its sources) in the late 1930s. Gardner was also an initiate of Co-Masonry, like so many other members of the CRF and OTRC. In addition to Mabel Scott Besant, the Theatre was headed by George Arthur Sullivan, which was among other things also the occult mentor of Peter Cady (one of the founders of the Findhorn Society). Not much is known about the further fate of this excentric group, but it seems that the CFR did not survive the WW2.

  • Fraternitas Rosæ Crucis (FRC) was founded around 1920 by the colourfull character Reuben Swinburne Clymer [1878-1966]. He claimed to be representing the movement originally founded by Pascal Beverly Randolph [1825-1875] in 1856. The latter was initiated into the SRIA in 1868, and seems to have held a previous membership from around 1840 in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light/Luxor. Randolph had journeyed all over the world and met several prominent esoteric figures, as for instance Eliphas Levi [1810-1975]. Allthough Randolph considered himself as a «Rosicrucian», he openly admitted in his books that he had no physical encounter with the early brethren, but that he rather drew his inspiration from personal visions. Furthermore, the succession of Randolphs work was perpetuated through an order called Temple of the Rosy Cross headed by Dr. Edward Brown of Boston. The latter was only briefly in touch with Clymer but later regretted this and hence pulled the plug. Instead, Brown was closely in touch with G. W. Plummer from 1899 and onwards, and Plummer was in touch with the Randolph widow. Nothing was handed down from Randolph to Clymer, and whatever documents Clymer may have claimed to posses he 'bought' from Randolph's widow. This therefore makes Clymers claims of being the heir of Randolphs lineage invalid, notwithstanding the claims of representing the first American Rosicrucian brethren. Clymer devoted much efforts and work to slander and attack AMORC and its founder. They accused each other mutually of teaching «sexual-magic», but as far as FRC has any relation to the teachings of Randolph, it is not totally untrue that they have a sexual content in their teachings. The Clymer-Lewis intrigues are awfully complex, and increased to involve other groups such as the RF. The whole case culminated into several court trials, which Clymer lost. A biased and subjective account on this is given in some of Clymers books. Despite Clymers false source, he did indeed cooperate with some other well-known esotericists of that time, as for instance Arnold Krumm-Heller of the FRA. Some of the FRA and FRC branches even united. After Reuben Clymers death, his son Emerson succeeded him as the head of FRC. The merged occult fraternities that comprise the FRC at present are:
    - The Priesthood of Æth
    - The Rosicrucian Order
    - The Secret Schools
    - The Hermetic Brotherhood
    - Fraternitas Rosae Crucis
    - Temple of the Rosy Cross
    - The Order of the Magi
    - Sons of Isis and Osiris
    - Illuminatae Americanae
    It also includes the International Confederation of Initiates and the Church of Illumination which is the Outer Court or Gateway to the Fraternity. Today, the order is led by Gerald E. Poesnecker. The headquarters 'Beverly Hall' is still located in beautifull locations of Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

  • Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) founded around 1860-1865 by the freemason Robert Wentworth Little [1840-1878]. He claimed to have encountered some «Rosicrucian documents» deriving from the authentic august order. Albeit its Rosicrucian design, the SRIA operated as a tailored alternative to Freemasons. One of its important members, was Kenneth Mackenzie [1833-1886], who assisted Little in running the society. Mackenzie was allegedly in contact with a "Count Apponyi" of Austria-Hungary, and is said to have received a lineage from him. The most probable source was the Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia which gradually went dorment at the end of the last century. Many well-known individuals of the 19th cent. held membership in the SRIA; John Yarker, P.B. Randolph, A.E. Waite, E. Bulwer-Lytton, Dr. W.W. Westcott, Eliphas Levi, Theodor Reuss, Frederick Hockley [1809-1885], William Carpenter [1797-1874], and many many more. The SRIA was originally nothing but a study group, and did not work rituals. It did spread abroad, for instance they got a body in Canada, under the British jurisdiction, with the name Societas Rosicruciana in Canadiensis. Likewise, in Pennsylvania, a charter was given in 1879 to establish the Soc. Ros. in the USA. A bit later, the Canadian branch chartered the honorable freemason Albert Pike, to run a branch in the USA, unaware of the previously existing branch deriving from the U.K. These two distinct efforts of operating the SRIA in USA, was not very successful at the time, and it appears that one of them gradually went into sleep, while the other one still exists under the name SRCF. The SRIA still have their headquarters in England, and have kept a low profile, only offering membership to Master Masons (third degree in «blue masonry»).

  • Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF) was founded in Pennsylvania in 1879, only open to Master Masons. Many members of the American SRIA joined it, especially after the schisms in that group. At first they sought authorization from the English SRIA, but as they got no response, they turned to the Soc. Ros. in Scotia who finally granted their request. The American bodies of this society founded a Supreme Council in 1880, with the name of Societas Rosicruciana Republicae Americae. It has worked in accordance to the original constitution, and still exists. In 1980 it had a total of 17 Lodges with only 773 members, but have now expanded the membership in the USA to a few thousands. It is currently in amity with the SRIA and SRIS. Their past Supreme Magus, Dr. William Peacher, wrote some pamphlets on the history of the SRICF, and the past Supreme Magus Voorhis wrote a "History of Masonic Rosicrucianism" which is still in print, and which discusses the complex story of the SRIA, SRIS, and SRICF at length. In the 1930's a brother of SRIA (Wilson) wrote on the history of SRIA. It indicates that they are really deriving from an ancient Rosicrucian society, through the branch which existed in Scotland and initiated RW Little. Anyhow, the present SRICF is ritualistic and initiatoric, and they are also an independent organization, existing under its new name "Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis" (MSRICF).

  • Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA) is the name of yet another offspring from the English SRIA. A third group of masons was very eager to maintain an American body of the SRIA, so they eventually were chartered in Philadelphia 1878, and later it spread throughout the States. After some years in function as a literary society with banquets, this American branch named Soc. Ros. in America, reformed and reoganized their body in 1889, and renaming it to the Societas Rosicruciana in the United States of America (SRIUS). Unfortunately, also this society had problems in surviving. However, in the Boston body, a certain Sylvester Clark Gould [-1909] was initiated into the society. He was a very productive member, publishing magazines, and studying the old Rosicrucian tradition. Eventually, with the dream of transforming the SRIUS into a modern representative of the true Rosicrucian Order, he contacted the authentic brethren in Europe in 1909, represented by a Count Aponnyi. But alas, Gould also passed away that year, hence his project died with him. Some of Gould's followers continued the society, and restructured it in 1912 under the original name: Societas Rosicruciana in America. One of their leaders was Mr. George Winslow Plummer [-1944], the author of many esoteric books under the pseudonym «Frater Khei». Gould had cooperated to some extent with Westcott from 1906 and onwards, and it was the latter who originally had guided Plummer to Gould when Plummer had requested Westcott for admission into the SRIA. After Goulds death, Plummer continued to seek guidance from Westcott, who helped him out with some ritualistic details. Plummer was a man of many connections. For instance, he was made X° in the OTO by Crowley which in return received admission into Plummers order, only to later fall apart and hence living up to the pattern of Crowleys unstable relationships. Another example would be Plummers connection to Krum-Heller, through whom he received admission into the Societas Rosicruciana Antiqua. Plummer also held lineages from some independent Catholic and Gnostic churches. However, in 1916, they started admitting women to their ranks. Because of this, they lost their charter from England and hence their original status. They were neither recognized nor sponsored by the British mother-lodge, or by any other masonic organization, but remained fully independent. They also worked differently than the other SRIA, introducing new rituals and study material. After Plummers death, he was succeeded his widow 'Mother Serena'. She later married Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow [-1969], who became head of the Holy Orthodox Church (of which Plummer had been a member). In 1980 Herman A. Spruit, leader of the 'Church of Antioch', ordained Serena to the priesthood and consecrated her to the episcopate. The current Imperatrix of the SRIA is the 86 year old 'Sister Lucea', the succesor of Serena.

  • The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD) was founded in 1888 by Freemasons and members of the SRIA. HOGD was established by Samuel Liddel MacGregor Mathers [1854-1918], William Robert Woodman [1828-1891] & William Wynn Westcott [1848-1925], and they were all initiates of the SRIA as well. The Rosicrucian connection was allegedly through a mysterious German adept; Fraulein Anna Sprengel, whom they contacted after having encountered some old cypher-manuscripts which belonged to her lodge. Some researchers have seen a possible relation between the HOGD and the Fratres Lucis/Asiatic Brethren, of which one of its modern descendants are the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light/Luxor. At any rate, the HOGD became a remarkable success, and attracted many prominent persons of its time, as for instance Arthur Edward Waite [1857-1942], Mina Bergson (sister of Henri), Edward Munch, August Strindberg, Rider Haggard, R.F. Felkin, "Aleister" Alexander Edward Crowley [1875-1947], William Butler Yeats [1865-1939], Allan Bennett, Bram Stoker, Revd. William Alexander Ayton, Frederick Leigh Gardner, Florence Farr and many many more. The HOGD is the source to most of the modern ritual magic flourishing on the occult market today. HOGD also worked the classical Rosicrucian degrees, just like the Soc. Ros. and other groups, but it was structured with an «Inner Order», called Rosæ Rubeæ & Aureæ Crucis (RRAC). The HOGD culminated into several schisms between the period 1903-1918 which made many of the Temples independent, as well as giving birth to several off-spring groups. The majority of the members continued their work under the name «Stella Matutina» which was the temple headed by R.W. Felkin and J.W. Brodie Innes. The members of the «Isis-Urania Temple» continued the work under the name «Alpha & Omega», but this branch went dorment in the thirties. Waite established the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and later also an inner order, Ordo Sanctissimus Rosæ et Aureæ Crucis, which today is only open to Master Masons, allthough it originally admitted women and non-Masons. Crowley founded his Argentinum Astrum (A.A.) inspired by the RRAC, and structured it as a spiritual training school. Dion Fortune (Violet Mary Firth) [1890-1946] was initiated into a couple of the surviving temples of HOGD, but she went on to create her own group, the Society of the Inner Light (Fraternity of the Inner Light). This group splintered after her death, due to a fundamental dispute on how much influence the teachings of Theosophy, Alice Bailey and Scientology (sic) should have on the contents of their doctrines. A great number of people prefered to keep working with the "pure" western mystery tradition & ceremonial magic, and hence the Servants of the Light (SOL) was born. SOL is far less reactionary than its forerunner, which still exists but does not apply for membership outside the U.K. Some well-known SOL members are William Ernest Butler [-1978], Gareth Knight, J.H. Brennan, W.G.Gray and its current leader Dolores Ashcroft -Nowicki. The SOL is one of the most successful non-thelemic theurgic orders of today. Francis Israel Regardie [1907-1985] was also initiated into a HOGD temple, and later published some of its materials and his own experiences with it. Several modern groups calling themselves HOGD and RRAC, are headed by people who have been initiated by Regardie. But there is also some of these modern orders who have had no physical contact with the original HOGD or its descendants, but have rather been invented based upon the published HOGD material of Regardie and others. Still other groups exists (France & UK) which are direct descendants of HOGD, but does not apply that name anymore. There were also some other groups working under similar names to the RRAC, as for instance the Antiquus Arcanus Ordinis Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis. Variations of this name have for instance been used by the Austrian group headed by Edward Munninger, the order headed by Theodor Reuss (which may be identical to Papus' Ordo Rose-Croix Esoterique of which Reuss was a German representative), the early AMORC headed by Harvey Lewis, the continental order headed by Sar Hiernoymous and so on. None of these groups are related to the HOGD groups (allthough some common sources may be tracked back to the distant past), but rather from French and German sources. The similarity of the names and rites used by many neo-Rosicrucian groups, is due to the influential existance of the old European OARRAC of the 17th & 18th cent. The influence that the HOGD have had on the modern western mystery traditions, can not be underestimated either, and the whole phenomenon is now legendary, resulting in dozens of books written about it.

  • Builders of the Adytum (BOTA) was founded by Paul Foster Case [1884-1954], after he had been expelled by Moina Mathers from a surviving HOGD temple in USA, allegedly for revealing sex magic techniques to the outer order members. Case had also started another school prior to the BOTA, the "School of Ageless Wisdom" which he started in New York & Chicago. It seemed to have failed, and after that he was instructed by «Masters of the Inner School» to move to Los Angeles and form the BOTA. Case was of the opinion that one becomes a Rosicrucian, not 'join' them, and that his order (and others) consequently only can be a vehicle for the labours of the individual students on their path to such a goal. He also made the similar point that there very well may be some 'true' Rosicrucians in any order as well as outside every order. Nonetheless, he claimed to be in touch with the 'invisible Rosicrucian masters' (the secret chiefs of which most Rosicrucian groups claim to derive from or be in contact with), hence legitimizing the Rosicrucian aspect of his own hermetic order. Besides from emphazising the QBL, BOTA is also known for their profound work on Tarot, and the «BOTA-deck» is relatively well-known and popular. BOTA has headquarters in both Paris and Los Angeles. Recently they have gone through a number of schisms, resulting in new orders having been formed. The Fraternitas Lux Occulta (The Brotherhood of Hidden Light) (FLO), are such a derivation, and seems to perpetuate the early spirit of the school.

  • Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) was originally founded by Carl Kellner [1850-1905], Heinrich Klein [-1913] & Franz Hartmann [1838-1912] around 1895. Albert Karl Theodor Reuss Willsson [1855-1923] succeeded Kellner as chief in 1902, and not until this point did it become a real operative order. While Kellner had travelled in the Orient, and brought back with him Tantric knowledge and such, Reuss was more a typical continental occultist and «fringe-Mason». Among else, he was chartered by Westcott of HOGD, John Yarker [1833-1913] of the Memphis-Mizraim, and a co-founder of Leopold Engel [1858-1931] in the revived Illuminati Order. Reuss energic efforts spread the OTO throughout the world. Many famous occultists of the time were in one way or the other linked to Reuss or the OTO, as for instance; Papus, Rudolph Steiner, Jack W. Parsons, Ron L. Hubbard, Gerald Gardner, George Plummer, Israel Regardie, Ben Kadosch (Carl Willhelm Hansen) [1872-1936], Heinrich Traenker, Friedrich Mellinger [1890-1970] and many many more. It was brought to the Americas by Charles Stansfeld Jones (Frater Achad) [1886-1950], an excentric character who propagated the dawn of the aeon of Maat. Jones was also invovled in Rosicrucian activities, and there are orders today claiming to derive from Jones. OTO postulated that it consisted of a large number of esoteric tradtitions, and they never really emphazised the Rosicrucian aspect above the other elements of it. It was only during the reign of Reuss, that it was considered Rosicrucian - by Reuss, Hartmann and Krumm-Heller, as well as by some other occultists outside the OTO. Representatives of the latter have referred to the OTO as «Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosæ Rubeæ & Aureæ Crucis». This did not stop them from organizing a seperate body within the OTO called "L'Ordre des Rose-Croix Esoteriques", which was listed among the participators of the esoteric spiritual and Masonic convention of 1908. It is interesting to notice also, that Krumm-Hellers FRA was operating as an OTO branch. In fact, Reuss explained the «Rosicrucian roots of OTO» in one of his letters (1921) to H. S. Lewis. Lewis was also admitted into the OTO by Reuss personally, but distanced himself a time after Crowley took over as head of the order. Lewis seems to have disregarded Crowley, even though the latter had tryed to get him into the A.A., and also wanted him to join forces against their mutual enemy Clymer. After several incidents of failured communication, Crowley became hostile towards Lewis, and even wanted to coupe AMORC. Another Rosicrucian tie to the OTO, is that they may have lineages deriving from the HBL and FL. However, as the name indicates, OTO is considered a heir to the tradition of the Knight Templars. When Crowley took over the organization in 1924, the Rosicrucian aspect of OTO was not emphazied at all. In fact, Crowley gave the organization a thorough restructuring, in both contents and shape. Not everybody found this to their taste, so several branches parted. In addition to this, Crowley had a hard time trying to track up many of the remaining branches from the former Reuss area, which had drifted away into oblivion as far as the headquarters concerned. The post-Reussian lineages of OTO are controversial to say the least. There are those who claims that Crowley was not the due heir to Reuss, and along the way from those days and up to the present, many groups have either splintered away from the main order, or others have been founded claiming to represent the authentic order. Most of the modern versions of OTO are thelemic, which technically means that they recognize Crowleys OTO, and hence in the question of authenticity the important thing for them would be to prove a lineage back to Crowley, and not to Reuss, as the former is the «Prophet of Thelema». There are groups in Switzerland still active, which derives from the OTO of Reuss. One of these groups was headed by Herman Joseph Metzger [1919-1990]. This group was at first neophytes in ORA, but was entirely dismissed as they did not follow up their promises to abandon several practices which ORA considered as negative. Metzger was passionately travelling around the world setting himself up to collect material & lineages deriving from Theodor Reuss, Heinrich Tranker and Arnold Krumm-Heller, a task not entirely successfull. Metzgers group was frequently schisming, and many of these groups are still in existance. However, P-R Koenig states in his research on the OTO, that the true successor of Reuss most probably was the wealthy Freemason Kaufmann Hans Rudolph Hilfiker-Dunn [1882-1955], which withdrew himself from OTO activities after the death of Reuss. The most well-known and perhaps most genuine branch of the modern OTO, is the thelemic organization located in California being alone in operating internationally under the name of OTO. It was established by Grady Louis McMurtry [1918-1985] around 1979, after he had travelled around to collect up the remains of the order from the reign of Crowley's practical successor, Karl Johannes Germer [1885-1962]. Germer was not interested in expanding the order under his reign, hence it declined in quantity and activity. McMurtry revived the «Agape Lodge» which originally had been established in California by Wilfred Talbot Smith [1885-1957]. Due to McMurtry's efforts, the order is once again spread worldwide, and the present headquarters have been moved to New York. Besides from working with Crowley's thelemic version of occultism, it is still very influenced by its old Freemasonic roots. It is also engaged in working a thelemic version of the Gnostic Church. About ten years ago, the OTO of McMurtry was batteling in court with a Brazilian version called Societas Ordo Templi Orientis (SOTO). SOTO was headed by Marcelo Ramos Motta [1931-1987], and claimed to be an authentic heir of Crowley's OTO. Marcelo and his father Samuel Cantarino Motta was members under the "Commendador" Duval Ernani de Paula. The Mottas sought contact with Clymer after the death of Krumm-Heller, as the Brazilians had rejected Clymers orientation, but did only manage to get in touch with Clymers son. Motta went to Germany in 1952 to see Parsifal Krumm-Heller, who in turn referred him to Karl Germer, a former associate of Arnoldo Krumm-Helller. Germer was, like his chief Crowley, opposed to the open use of the term "Rosicrucian" and told Motta to break with the "Commendador", which he did. The outcome of the trial between Motta and McMurtry, was that the McMurtry OTO won the legal rights to use the name and publish the works of the order. There are a numerous of other groups claiming authenticity, but in the USA, the McMurtry OTO have the sole legal rights to the name. It is beyond doubt that the OTO is one of the most reputable as well as notorious orders of today. The reason for both its fame and controversy, is mainly due to Crowley. Whatever one should happen to think about him and his works (of which the majority is published), one must admit that he has been one of the most influencial occultist of the last century, especially to the more recent generations.

  • Collegium Pansophicum (CP) was founded by Heinrich Tranker [1880-1956] in 1921. Traenker was the head of the German branch of the OTO during the leadership of Theodor Reuss. He regarded himself as the only authentic successor of Reuss, allthough he together with C.S. Jones [out of about ten remaining tenth degree members) was the only one voting for Crowley's leadership. Incidently, they both soon regretted their votes, albeit too late. CP claimed to be the only order containing the true secrets of the august Rosicrucian brethren, but it did not prevent them from co-operating with AMORC, something which gradually ceased around 1931, when AMORC became invited to join the FUDOSI. Together with Spencer Lewis, Tranker issued a so-called «Second Fama», announcing the presence of the real Rosicrucian brethren. The CP published several Rosicrucian books, and even managed to establish some branches in America. The periodical for the English speaking members was called «Pansophic Intellectualizer». In Denmark, Ben Kadosch, already heading the Danish OTO, AMORC & Co-Masonry, received a charter from Tranker. The CP experienced a little schism when the «Fraternitas Saturni» (FS) was founded by displeased OTO & CP members, headed by Albin Grau & Eugen Grosche [1888-1964]. Eventhough FS did not accept Crowley as Reuss' successor, they nevertheless symphatized with the philosophy of Thelema. CP was not particulary thelemic, but the teachings allegedly contained some «sexual-magick» instructions. Both orders still exists as well as some strange off-springs.

  • Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (FRA) was founded by the German esotericist Arnoldo Krumm-Heller [1879-1949] around 1927 in South-America (where he had arrived at the age of 16). The order spread all over the latino-speaking world, but K-H never established or authorized any FRA activity in Europe except in Spain, Germany & Austria, because he considered FRA to be for the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world only. The roots of the FRA are obscure, but interesting. Krumm-Heller had a lineage to the HBL/FL. He was a man of the world and travelled all over the globe. He met many people and was in contact with several other orders, as the OTO, OMM, Martinism, AMORC, FRC and more. He also participated in the esoteric conventions arranged by Papus and Reuss, and he received degrees in different orders on both occasions. His most important esoteric partner was the then Grand Master of OTO, Theodor Reuss. They co-operated in publishing «Der Rosenkreutzer» in the early twenties, where they defined themselves as «Rosicrucians». After the death of Reuss, Dr. Krumm-Heller was associated with Crowley among others, allthough Krum-Heller regarded himself as the true successor of Reuss. H.S. Lewis was allegedly chartered by Krum-Heller, but it was later revoked by the latter. A brief period the FRC even joined forces with some FRA bodies in South-America. During the war, K-H was stuck in Germany and had little contact with the occult world outside the Third Reich, notwithstanding his own order. The different branches of FRA developed seperately under each Grand Masters leadership. K-H never appointed any successors, so after his death the FRA continued to operate under independent heads in each country it existed. Vain attempts to collect the order to collect the order was made by his son, Parsifal Krum-Heller [1925-] and also by Metzger. Not every branch survived, but in Brazil the order is still very active.

  • Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix (Cabalistic order of the Rosy Cross) (OKRC) was founded in Paris around 1888, with Marquis Stanislas de Guaita [1861-1897] as the first Grand Master. It had a council of 12 members, six of them being unknown "so that the order could be resurrected in case of decay". There have been much speculation about what lineages this order helt, and both Alphonse Louis Constant (Eliphas Levi) [1810-1875] & Lord Edward George Bulwer-Lytton [1803-1873] have been mentioned as links to the early brethren, and other less known lineages have been mentioned as well. Also, the admirable doctor, Gerard Anaclet Vincent Encausse (Papus) [1865-1916] is said to have had some genuine Rosicrucian connections. Both Papus and Levi seems to have been involved in a lineage containing people like Charles Nodier, Count Golitzyn and even Napoleon. However, it is certain that the older generations of French occultists have had some influence on their cultural successors, as for instance Saint-Yves d`Alveydre [1842-1909] and his concept of «Synarchy», something which even Rudolph Steiner adopted in his own theories. The OKRC attracted the leading continental occultists of the time, including people like Paul Adam [1862-1920], Jollivet-Castelot, August Reichel, Abbeè Alta (Melingè), Francois Barlet, Marc Haven (Dr. Lalande) [1868-1926], Eduoard Blitz, August Strindberg [1849-1912], Gabron et Thoron, Victor Blanchard (Sar Yesir) [-1953], Spencer Lewis, Lucien Mauchel, Paul Sedir (Yvon Le Loup) [1871-1926], Pierre Augustin Chaboseau, and several other well-known figures. The teachings of the order mainly consisted of working with the classical occult disciplines such as QBL, Tarot, Astrology, Alchemy, Theurgy, Numerology, Divination and Rituals. The initiations consisted of 3 degrees, and one secret fourth degree. OKRC was closely attached to the Martinist Order and the Gnostic Church. The Grand Masters of the order succeeding de Guaita was:
    - Francois Charles Barlet (Albert Faucheux) [1838-1921]
    - Gerard Encausse (Papus)
    - Charles Detre (Teder) [1855-1918]
    - Lucien Mauchel (Sar Chamuel) [-1936]
    - Victor Blanchard (Sar Yesir) [-1939]
    - Pierre Augustin Chaboseau [-1946]
    - Georges Lagreze [-1954?]
    - Robert Ambelain [-1994]
    But there was a paralell line of succession, due to a schism resulting from the controversy of Masonic requisition:
    - Francois Charles Barlet
    - Gerard Encausse (Papus)
    - Charles Detre (Teder)
    - Jean Bricaud [1881-1934]
    - Constant Chevillon (1880-1944)
    - Charles-Henry Dupont [-1960]
    - Phillipe Encausse [1906-1984]

    It is interesting to notice that Chaboseau made AMORCs Imperator, Ralph Lewis, a member of the Supreme Council of OKRC. OKRC also participated in the F.U.D.O.S.I., and the order continued to operate independent after its dissolution. It does still exist, and co-operates in some degree with the «Order of the Rites of Memphis-Mizraim» (OMM) and the «Martinist Order (of Paris)». It seems that the two lineages of the order eventually was re-united under Robert Ambelain, and I understand that the current GM of OKRC, Gerard Kloppel, hold both lineages. Kloppel succeded Ambelain, and Ronald Cappello was appointed head for the American branch.

  • Order of the Temple & the Graal and of the Catholic Order of the Rose-Croix (l'Ordre de la Rose Croix Catholique et Esthetique, du Temple et du Graal) (CRC) ('Catholic', as in 'Universal') was established by Josephine Peladan [1858-1918] in 1890. Peladan was one of the co-founders of the OKRC, but received an older lineage from his elder brother Adrien Peladan (homeopath and associate of Hahneman), who in return received it in Toulouse, 1858 (possibly the same lineage as H. S. Lewis got in 1909). Peladan claimed that he was to perpetuate the work of this august order, and challenged in this way the authority of his companion, de Guaita. This duo experianced some differences during this period, and the foundation of CRC annoyed de Guaita which regarded it is an uncalled provocation. De Guaita and several OKRC members tryed in vain to persuade the stubborn Peladan to come to his senses and give it up, but as that was out of the question a schism was unavoidable. Most of the members of OKRC was loyal to de Guaita and stuck with the order. Peladan had higher ambitions though, the CRC was not only a place for esoteric training, but was also concerned with activities involving science, culture, music, drama & the arts. Peladan socialized and co-operated with many famous musicians and artists of the time, like Gustav Moreau, Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Fèlicien Rops, Georges Rouault and Erik Satie. He was also quite famous for many of his eccentric statements, habits and costumes. CRC propagated some sort of christian esotericism and Peladan even postulated that he had discovered the long lost tomb of Jesus. On his elder days he toured across Europe, lecturing on his philosophy. After Peladan's death in 1916, the CRC was fundamentally reorganized by some of his disciples, and different branches lived on. Gary de Lacroze continued the order in France, another disicple of Peladan, Jacques Brasilier, also organized a surviving group, and in Belgium some OKRC members joined together with the remains of the CRC, as headed by the legendaric Sar Hieronymous. All orders still exists, and some additional groups also claims this origin.

  • Ordo Aureæ & Rosæ Crucis (Antique Arcanæ Ordinis Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis)(OARC) was headed by the Belgian successor of Peladan, Emille Dantinne (Sar Hieronymous) [1884-1969] as he became its new Imperator. Dantinne was involved with esoteric group work at a very early age, and his involvment in CRC was not the only Rosicrucian group he affiliated. The CRC under Dantinne was reorganized in accordance with the original tradition of the order and was divided into three seperate sections; 'Rose-Croix Universitaire' (9 degrees), 'Rose-Croix Universelle' (9 degrees) and 'Rose-Croix Interioure' (the inner order) (3 degrees + 1). The outer heading applied its original name «Ordo Aureæ & Rosæ Crucis». The 'University' and 'Universal' sections were analogues paths, intended to apply to people of different kind. Hence the total degrees were 12 (13 including the "Imperators degree"). Beyond all this was the 'Celestial Rose-Croix' (signifying the initiates spiritual connection) which was only reserved to a very few, notably those who attained thus heights of illumination ('rare initiation'). The Deputy Imperator of RCU was Francois Soetewey, and Jean Mallinger (head of the Belgian OMM) being one of its most important members. Jules Rochat of Abbaye was made the Imperator of the inner order. In Paris the legendaric alchemist Francois Jollivet-Castelot [1868-] administrated the local body. Both Harvey and Ralph Lewis of AMORC, received their Rosicrucian Imperator's Initiation (the 13th degree of illuminati, slightly analogous to the I.L. of Martinism) from Dantinne in Europe. OARC was member of the FUDOSI (Federatio Universalis Dirigens Ordines Socitatesque Initiatonis) - an union of authentic august orders - together with a great number of kindred orders. OARC was unofficially tied up with several Martinist orders, Gnostic churches and other groups, all headed by people from similar esoteric circles. Most noteworthy are the "Pythagorean Order", or as it was officially titled when fused with the 'Order of Hermes'; "Ordre Hermetiste Tetramegiste & Mystique" (OHTM) . In the early years, Mallinger and Dantinne had been initiated into distinct branches of this order, and now merged it together under mutual leadership. After WW2 the work of FUDOSI continued, but a personal disagreement gradually arose between AMORCs Imperator Ralph Lewis and the secretary of FUDOSI Jean Mallinger. Dissolution finally became inevitable and in 1951 a formal decleration was issued on the dissolvement of FUDOSI. Officially it was stated that it had fullfilled its role and mission, and that the orders parted fraternally. The OARC kept on its work in Europe, but calmly and in small restricted groups.


  • Alchemical Rose-Croix Society (Association Alchimique de France) was headed by the obscure alchemist, writer & eccentric; Count Francois Jollivet-Castelot. The organization seems to have been reorganized in 1896. Some of the members are well-known characters; Gerard & Philippe Encausse, H.E. Lalande, Charles Barlet, Paul Sedir, Stanislas De Guaita, Tabris, etc. At a time it seems that "The Société Alchimique de France" was a section of the «Faculté des Sciences Hermetiques». Jollivet-Castelot was also associated with other orders, such as AMORC, Ordre Martinist, OKRC, OHMT, OARC, etc. Jollivet-Castelot even founded an organization called the 'Non-Materialist Communist Union', as an alternative to the atheistic dominated «Socialist International». August Reichel, another esotericist involved in several continental orders, also an associate of Reuss, was a faithful disciple of Jollivet-Castelot. Reichel was also the Grand Master of a very interesting and obscure order called the Brotherhood of the Illumined Brethren of the Rose-Croix. August Strindberg was another disciple of Jollivet-Castelot. The latter was also the brain behind a popular occult magazine which had been in existence since 1875, named "l'Hyperchimie". Sedir was the Chief Editor and Jollivet Castelot was the manager. From 1904 to 1914, the review was published under the name of "Nouveaux horizons de la Science et de la Pensee". In 1920, it eventually became "La Rose-Croix". This periodical, which was the Rosicrucian version of «L`initiation», announced the formation of the FUDOSI in 1934, and also declared the «Fama Fraternitatis» of Lewis and Jollivet-Castelot. His alchemical society does not apper to have survived him, but many of his books explaining his occult and political work still exists, though not yet in English. Some of the alchymical work of the Society was continued in AMORCs alchemy classes, especially by Frater Albertus (Albert Richard Reidel) [-1984] and Orval Graves [-1996]. It also seems that the modern alchemical organization, «Philosophers of Nature» (PON) is passing on some of Jollivet-Castelot's work and ideas. The notions of Hylozofi and Hyperchemy is credited him.

  • Rose-Croix de l'Orient (Rose-Cross of the East) (RCO) is the name of another obscure movement, which have left few traces throughout history but some brief references. The RCO have been in existence under Dr. E. Bertholet, the head of 'Ordre Martinist & Synarchy in Switzerland' (where many orders had been flourishing between 1890-1940). The OM&S became dormant after Dr. Bertholet's death. His son-in law, Peter Genillard did not want to continue the OM&S. He wanted to work only in the "Rose-Croix". The "Rose-Croix" in question was not just AMORC (he was a Grand Officer in the Swiss AMORC Grand Lodge), but also the RCO. RCO was never listed as part of the FUDOSI, but some of the persons in FUDOSI seem to have been associated with them. It is interesting to notice that Victor Blanchard was made FUDOSI Imperator of the Orient (while Lewis was Imperator of America and Dantinne was Imperator of Europe). Can it be a referance to the RCO? This secret order is also mentioned by Sar Aurifer (Robert Ambelain) in his «Sacrementaire de la Rose-Croix», a collection of exorcisms and prayers. Tradition relates that it was this order from whom Saint-Martin received his Rosicrucian initiation. It may have descended from the order of the 'Asiatic Brethren', favourably described by Waite in his book, «The Brotherhood of the Rosy-Cross». Ambelain was the head of RCO until he recently passed away. The RCO has a branch in the USA with Grand Master Ronald Cappello (who also runs OMM, OKRC, etc). Externally, they are called the «Order of the Lily and the Eagle». They published a book of their history a while ago, which was advertised in the «Gnosis Magazine». It gives quite an interesting history of the RCO and of its past connection with the Emperors of Byzantium. How much of this is verified history remains unknown to the undersigned.

  • The Elder Brothers of the Rose-Croix (Les Freres Aînés de la Rose-Croix) (FARC) seems to desire an anonymous relation to the public and is very discreet in its activities. The alleged formation of the FARC in 1316 is connected to the Templar myth. Without going into the fantastic details, one can say that some members emigrated to Scotland and regrouped under a new banner and took the name of «Frères Aînés de la Rose-Croix». Alchemy was their most important work. Their headquarters are currently located in Paris with allegedly only 33 official members. Still, there are several lineages claiming to be unofficial FARC groups connected to the Paris body. Roger Caro is the head of the continental group, and is also the head of an affiliated gnostic church called «l`Eglise de la Nouvelle Alliance».

  • Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosæ Rubæ Aureæ Crucis (AAORRAC) in Austria, which was, as the name suggests, connected to AMORC, although originally independent. It was created by Eduard Munninger [1901-1965] with headquarters in the legendaric "Castle Kraempelstein" (of which Steiner speaks so favourable, and which is supposed to once have been habited by a Rosicrucian count). Munninger co-operating with Erler in reviving Rosicrucianism in the German speaking world after the World War II. When Erler resigned from his position as Grand Master of AMORCs German jurisdiction, Munninger and his group also left AMORC and founded the AAORRAC. It was Erler who suggested that Munninger should apply that name. The authenticity of the Austrian AAORRACs roots is questionable, as Munninger claimed connection with virtually every authority of that time (Franz Hartmann, Walter Heilman, Friedrich Lienhard, Anna Sprengel, Heindel, etc.). Munninger postulated to Clymer that he represented Krum-Heller in Austria, but the fact remains that Munninger had been an AMORC member and operating under the jurisdiction of Erler. The teachings of AAORRAC was mainly aquired from AMORC as well as some Reuss sources. Today the AAORRAC is led by the former AMORC member Karl Plank, who severly altered the order after his own head, and which also allegedly applies unauthorized material deriving from AMORC, OTO and other sources.

  • Antiquus Arcanæ Ordinis Rosæ Rubæ Aureæ Crucis (Antique Mysticusque Ordo Rosæ Crucis) (AMORC) was originally established as the American branch of the European AAORRAC, between 1912-1915. The Imperator, Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis [1883-1939], claimed an initiation into the august order nearby Toulouse in 1909, but this relation have often been questioned by critics due to lack of available evidence. Recent research have shown that "Count Raynaud E. de Bellcastle-Ligne" is a pseudonym for Lewis' initiator, but that the connection between them - Clovis Lasalle - indeed did exist. Also, the source for Peladans lineage, Viscount Lapasse, was an associate of Lasalle. However, Lewis also claimed that the AMORC was the only authentic heir to the Rosicrucian settlers of Pennsylvania in 1693, hence making AMORC seem like the modern representatives of the first American Rosicrucians. Lewis based these postulations on the pioneer research conducted by the Masonic historian Dr. Julius Friedrich Sachse [1842-1919], who was made a honorary member of AMORC. Lewis was also attacked for claiming additional Rosicrucian authority from the English 'Grand Matre' Mrs. May Banks-Stacey [e.g. Mary Banks, wife of Colonel May Stacey], an invalid criticism as research have proved the contact genuine, though distinct from Lewis' French sources. The latter was represented by Jerome Verdier as late as september 1915, an indication that they acknowledged the original foundation of AMORC in february the same year. For several reasons the communication between AMORC and its continental roots ceased in the following years. Instead, Lewis tryed to collect different small and authentic Rosicrucian bodies throughout Europe under the AMORC heading. This was done by frequent sending of charters & funds. AMORCs actual continental influence increased after WW II. Lewis did also co-operated with several other esoteric groups, as for instance the OTO under Reuss, Tranker's Pansophia, and later with the old authentic orders associated in the FUDOSI. Most noteworthy, was the OARC of Sar Hiernoymous, who was representing another descendant of the Toulouse Rosicrucians. Ralph Maxwell Lewis [1902-1987], succeeded his father as Imperator and developed AMORC into the vast modern organisation it is today. He was the real brain behind the mail-lesson system and home sanctum initiations. Ralph prefered that the order did not work with theurgy, and removed every trace that tasted of «old occultism». Instead, the attention was layed upon mysticism, as well as psychological and metaphysical approaches to the esoteric. AMORCs teachings have a scientifical style, with practical experiments and instructions. Their initiation rituals seems very influenced by Masonry, especially the OM-M. The Lewis Imperators left the original 13th degree ('Imperators initiation') ritual out of the order, and replaced it with an «Imperators averment» and a general honorary 13th degree. This was probably done with intention of preventing possible splinter groups occuring from either schisms or reproducement as in the decentralized nature of the Martinist system. But the effect was rather reverse; R. Lewis' successor, G. Stewart was personally trained by the former and properly installed according to AMORC regulations & guidelines, but after only a few years of his reign, it all culminated into a huge scandale, with mutual accusations of conspiracy and corruption. This caused a vast and bitter schism, with the effect of giving birth to several new groups. After this, Stewarts counterpart, the former French Grand Master Christian Bernard [1953-], has held the office as Imperator of AMORC. The structure of the order is changed and the office of Imperator is redefined; all the Grand Masters of each jurisdictions being the members of the Supreme Council electing the Imperator on a 5 years term. Under the new reign, AMORC have moved their headquarters from the "Rosicrucian Park" in San Jose, to the "Rosicrucian Domain of Silence" in Quebec, Canada. The teachings have been altered, with more updated and modern contents. The order still publishes the "Rosicrucian Digest" and distributes various books & items through the attached store "Alexandria". AMORC controls and runs the attached but yet distinct "Traditional Martinist Order" (TMO) (founded by Augustin Chaboseau and H. S. Lewis), and admission is possible only through AMORC. TMO have been accused of having errors in their lineages, as well as invalid altered doctrines and rituals. The Imperator of AMORC is also the leader of TMO. AMORCs "inner order", is the Militia Crucifera Evangelica (MCE), which only admits very few 'ordinary' AMORC members. Originally it was an independent body within FUDOSI, allthough controlled by Lewis. Another former French Grand Master, Raymond Bernard [1921-] (father of Christian Bernard) created an order called C.I.R.C.E.S. in the early seventies, focusing on the heritage of the Templars, 'Pythagorean Order' and 'Order of Melchizedec'. He had published severaI books some years earlier, claiming to have encountered the Masters of the Great White Brotherhood, including the sources to both the Rosicrucian and Templar tradition. However, there are reasons to believe that some of the material that CIRCES works with, originally derives from some of the FUDOSI affiliated orders. Today CIRCES is a charitable organization independent from its esoteric children: 'Templar Research Institute' in USA (lead by its President Onslow Wilson) and in France 'Ordre Souverain du Temple Initiatique' (lead by Yves Jayet). A great number of esotericists (including leading members of many different orders) have had a membership in AMORC during their early walk on the esoteric path. Still, many people have accused it of being too public, commerical and unserious. Nevertheless AMORC has had a great influence on the modern western esoteric mystery tradition.

  • Ancient Rosae Crucis (ARC) was founded by people who left AMORC some years ago because of the so-called "Stewart-affair". They originally asked Stewart to become their Imperator, but due to internal disagreement he left the organisation and they now function under the leadership of its founders Paul Walden and Ashley McFadden (the author/editor of the 'Rosicrucian Primer'). The latter recently announced herself as Imperatrix, drawing on the authority from Walden, which himself claims to have received the Imperator succession from Stewart. ARC is only located in the USA, but similar groups exists in other countries as well. Their teachings are based on the AMORC monographies of the fifties, and is hence older than those currently used by AMORC. ARC have a very questionable initiatoric lineage, but builds on the tradition of AMORC such as it was practised during the time of Harvey and Ralph Lewis. Although many people at first predicted that the ARC would not survive, one must admit that it has developed impressively, despite the fact that they have been regarded by some as «Lewis-fundamentalists».

  • ConFraternity Rosae + Crucis (CR+C) is headed by the former AMORC Imperator Gary Lee Stewart [1953-]. The order sufaced as a consequence of the AMORC schism, but is organized in a slightly different manner. They work with original AMORC lessons and rituals, as well as some supplementary stuff. However, they are connected to and partly controlled by the Ordo Militia Crucifera Evangelica (OMCE), a Templar order which also is governed by Stewart. The OMCE does not derive from the MCE of FUDOSI, but rather from another lineage of the original MCE of Simon Studion, which is still in existance under the name I.S. Milites Templi, and have for instance a couple of lodges in Belgium. Its original system derives from Central-Asia. Like ARC, CR+C is a direct AMORC offspring, but at least CR+C have the lineage of the Imperator's succession. Admission into CR+C seems to be through OMCE, but the majority of the members are people who left AMORC during the crise. CR+C exists worldwide, with national Grand Lodges. Expanding in quantity does not appear to be a priority of theirs and the CR+C keeps a much lower profile than its sister orders AMORC & ARC, and they also seems to desire to work more closely in accordance with the concept of the original Rosicrucians.

Keep in mind that there exists several other RC groups in addition to those listed here. Some are less known or even dissolved, others do not externally use the name "Rosicrucian". However, the groups listed and briefly described above, are probably the most reputable representants of the neo-Rosicrucian current of this century. I do believe that each tree planted shall be judged by their fruits rather than roots, so if any of these organisations serves a good purpose, there is no problem in them existing, despite the fact that many of them apply the term and symbol of the Rose Cross without any historical validity.

The author sincerely wishes to thank several people for their kind support and assistance. You know who you are, and so does God....

© 1997 Frater Melchior Affectator F.R.C.