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4.5 Rosicrucian Organisations in the 19th & 20th Centuries

4.5.1- Stanislas de Guaïta and Pedalan

a. Guaïta and the Rosicrucian Cabalistic Order.
Guaïta (1861-1897) came to Paris from Lorraine and built up a beautiful esoteric library. He also wrote a few books on Black Magic. He founded in 1889 the Rosicrucian Cabalistic Order with at the top a Supreme Council of twelve members including Peladan. The Order bestowed grade as a free university (bachelor, master and doctorate).

b. Pedalan and the Aesthetic rose-Croix.
Joseph Aimé Pedalan dit Joséphin (1858-1918) left the order created by Guaïta because he found it too anti-Catholic and too Buddhist. He was very interested in occult sciences and wrote books on the subject. Guaïta excommunicated Pedalan in 1891. Pedalan organised his order as a confraternity of intellectuals doing compassion and charity work according to the Holy Spirit and whose members try to increase the Glory of God and to prepare His Reign. The occultism and the religion are complementary. Death is only a change of state that free the body so that the soul can become total spirituality. He is against reincarnation. With Guaïta he believed that initiated woman can not be equal to man but that both are complementary.

c. The disgrace of the Priest Boullan.
Guaïta denounced the Priest Boullan (1824-1893) who with his mistress, Adèle Chevalier, became involved in a financial and sexual scandal. Before they had founded the”Society for the Separation of Souls” with a view to cure illnesses. Both were sent to jail for their misconduct.

d. Other important personalities.

.Gérard Encausse (1865-1916) known as Papus was born in Spain and he came to Paris with his parents when he was young. He left studying medicine to become the best known occultist of his time. He also wrote many books. He refunded the Martinist order.

.Emmanuel Lalande (1868-1926), better known as Marc Haven, was one of the best occultist of his time. He also wrote many books on the subject.

.Yvon Le Loup (1871-1926) better known as Paul Sédir was another expert of occult sciences, object of his many books. One day he changed opinion and became a catholic activist although independent. (q)

4.5.2-The Anglo-Saxon Rosicrucianism

a. The “Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.)
About 1865 Robert Wentworth Little founded the S.R.I.A. reserved to masons having the grade of Master. The number of the members is limited to 144 grouped in nine grades. Branches were founded in Canada and in the USA.

b. Eliphas Lévi
Alphonse-Louis Constant better known as Eliphas Lévi was born in Paris in 1810. He became a priest but left his order in 1836. He wrote many books that are still red to day. He died in 1875.

c. The “Golden Dawn” (G.D.)
The hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the Outer was founded in 1887 within the S.R.I.A. The charter of the G.D. was given by a German rosicrucian organisation. In 1888 the Temple Isis-Uranus No 3 was created. There were five grades and men and women were accepted on the same basis and with the same rights. Other temples followed in Great Britain and then in France. The Golden Dawn has then eleven grades divided in three classes.

d. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) and the Order of the Orient Temple.
The Golden Dawn has seen violence, schism and mutual excommunication. Crowley became a member of this secret society and he became his Grand Master. He was expelled for extreme practices and created his own order, the Astrum Argentinum or Silver Star. He was a follower of Lévi through whom he got interested in the Cabal. Crowley was also the head of the O.T.O. (Order of the Temple of Orient). He is also well known for his travels.

e. The Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.).
After the death of Mathers, one of the founders, the Golden Dawn was in trouble. In 1922 four old members of the Golden Dawn founded The builders of the Adytum and Paul Foster Case were nominated prolocutor “ad vitam”. Ann Davis succeeded Case after hid death in 1954. After Ann Davis’ death, the order was managed by a few members. B.O.T.A. has its headquarters in Los Angeles and section in USA, England, Australia, Spain and France. The French branch covers also Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium and the French speaking countries of Africa.

f. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor (H.B. of L.)
This fraternity appeared in Boston in 1880 and it still exists to-day. It is a very secret society that counts very few members and has its headquarters in Zurich. It is strongly hierarchised and requires a lot of study that is given by degree -orally or by correspondence-.They recruit their members using astrology.

g. L’Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O.)
It is an order open to free, adult and well-known men and women. It was founded in 1895 by Karl Kellner (1850-1905) and headed after his death by Theodor Reuss (1855-1923) formerly from the Memphis-Misraïm rite. Crowley who was a member since 1911 became its head in 1922. Hitler forbid it in 1937 and its headquarters moved to the USA where it is still. The order has nine grades divided in three groups and exists in USA, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Great Britain, Norway, Germany and France. (q)

4.5.3 The Antic and Mystic Order of the Rose-Croix (A.M.O.R.C.)
This is an order well known by the general public. It was founded in San Jose, California by H. Spencer Lewis in 1909. The order is supposed to wake up every 108 year and, as we have seen, this is a special interval of time in the Rose-Croix tradition. The date of 1909 does not fit in with the legend of Christian Rosencreutz who is only one of the Grand Master and not the founder of the Rose-Croix for A.M.O.R.C. This order says that its origin was in Egypt in 1500 BC and that its organisation dates from 1350 BC. From Egypt it went to Greece then to Rome. Lewis pretended to have been initiated in the mysteries of the Rose-Croix in Toulouse about 1908 and that he was invested with the task of renovating the Rose-Croix order in the USA. He is known for changing Zinc in gold by alchemy before a public assembly. Of course many people have doubt about the real operation. The headquarters of the order is in the Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, California. Ralph M. Lewis succeeded to his father and after him, in 1987, it was the turn of Gary L. Stewart. The order has 200,000 members all other the world and it is very rich. A.M.O.R.C. is above all a philanthropic organisation that aims to bring heath, happiness and peace to humanity during the terrestrial life. It is also a school of psychology and physical sciences. The order wants to teach its man and woman members to live in harmony with nature. It is fighting against all the dogmas and does not impose any belief. It aims to increase the latent inner knowledge in each of us, to show the metaphysical and human preoccupation inherent in each person, to lead man on the road to knowledge as it is not possible to lead him on the salvation road. The instruction of the members is made by correspondence and is very demanding. The method is very similar to what Martinès de Pasqually proposed in his time as well as Crowley in his books. Those who go through these studies reach the higher grades of the order. It is thought that there are twelve degrees, the last three being more or less secret. Most big towns have a section of this Order and very often they also have a cultural centre where lecturers from outside the order are invited to present their views. (q)

4.5.4 The Rosicrucian association of Max Heindel

This association was founded in 1909 at Seattle, Washington state and refers to Christian Rosencreutz as its founder. Its headquarters is since 1911 at Oceanside, California. Max Heindel (1865-1919) would have been instructed to create this order by a Rose-Croix member. There are now thousands of members all over the world. The members base their teaching on astrology and the art of healing the sick. They try to make Christianism a live and operating reality. The members are encourage to keep their own religious convictions whatever they are. The senior members are supposed to help those who suffer, morally or physically. The teaching is done by correspondence and everything is free of charge, the money coming from gifts. The members are divided in three degrees and it takes from two to five years to reach the top degree. (q)

4.5.5 Harlem or Modern Rose-Croix

The Modern Rose-Croix that claims to be the continuation of the Golden Rose-Croix (although it has no filiation with it) has been founded in 1925 and has its headquarters in Harlem, Netherlands. Their teaching is based on some Cathar theories even if it is different. The doctrine of this organisation is Gnostic; they reject science, philosophy, dialectic and religion that do not bring salvation. It is difficult to assimilate them with the Rosicrucians. They only use very little of the Cathar thought. It is a special sect that created its own doctrine. There are few members admitted by co-optation. Some similar organisations exist in Belgium and in Switzerland. They are easy of access and brotherly. (q)

4.5.6 Elder Brothers of the Rose-Croix (E.B.R.C.)

They claim filiation with the Templars and to have been created in 1316. Only Roger Caro is known and he has written a few publications on the subject. It is very close to the Church of the New Alliance. (q)

4.5.7 Brotherhood of Eulis and P.B. Randolph

Randolph (1825-1875) had a strange personality. He had been a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor (H.B. of L.) but has also created the Brotherhood of Eulis. This is a Rosicrucian order. Born very poor he did many jobs before becoming a doctor and travelled all other the world. In Paris he was friendly with Alexandre Dumas and Eliphas Levi. He participated to the war of Secession with the North and was friendly with President Lincoln. He has written many books that reflect his spiritual researches. At one time after 1842 the Grand Council of the American Rosicrucians was formed by Randolph, General Hitchcock and President Lincoln. For Randolph sex is the main dynamic force of nature. By the sexual act one aims at the union of the souls and through this, the union with God. (q)

4.5.8 Steiner

Steiner (1861-1925) wrote in 1917 a study on the “Noces Chymiques”. He had his own very personal interpretation of the Rose-Croix that must go up to the upper limit of life before coming down to work in the physical world. In his book “Rose-Croix Theosophy” he mixes up reincarnation and Karma. He believes that Christian Rosencreutz was reincarnated in the 15th century. He is thought to have founded a lodge in 1905 that pretended to be heir to the Rose-Croix order. (q).

4.5.9 Other Rosicrucian groups

Many organisations pretend to be the only heir to the Rose-Croix. Some have taken the spirit and the organisation of Masonic lodges. We will only mention two examples.

a. Cabalistic Order of the Rose-Croix (C.O.R.C.)
This order was founded by Jean Bricaud in 1919.

b. Catholic and Aesthetic Rose-Croix
Under this generic name we found many Rosicrucian organisations that claimed to represent the movement in exclusivity. (q)