Confusion on the Internet
There exist a confusing number of modern Rosicrucian organizations with a presence on the internet today. Which of them are legitimate and by what criteria can one define a legitimate Rosicrucian order or society? First of all, no one single Rosicrucian group can legitimately lay claim to being "the Rosicrucian order" in any sort of exclusive sense. One may indeed speak, however, of a legitimate Rosicrucian historical tradition and corpus as well as of Rosicrucian esoteric transmissions.
There has been a great deal of academic, historical research done in recent years regarding the Rosicrucians, Rosicrucian Orders and Societies, as well as about the Rosicrucian tradition. One thing is quite clear. Rosicrucianism has throughout history occupied itself with certain, quite specific things. It is historically incontestable, for example, that early Rosicrucians were primarily interested in alchemy. They were also without doubt interested in theurgy, gnosticism, qabalah, hermeticism, astrology, and esoteric Christianity. Can one not expect modern Rosicrucian orders and societies to study, teach, and practice these things as well? If they do not, are they not Rosicrucian merely in name only?
If a Rosicrucian order or society represents a historical continuity of the Rosicrucian tradition, should it not also fully possess of the specific teachings of the various historical Rosicrucian orders and societies that came before them? Is it unreasonable to expect modern Rosicrucian groups to stand on the shoulders of their predecessors? Should they not necessarily be the inheritors of the documents, teachings, practices, etc., of these earlier Rosicrucian bodies...their alchemical instructions, their esoteric teachings, their initiation rituals and grade instructions? Otherwise, in what way other than in name only are they Rosicrucian?
Unfortunately, precious few of the modern societies and orders calling themselves Rosicrucian come even close to meeting these quite reasonable standards. They all at least study and teach something, but what do their teachings actually have to do with the true, historical Rosicrucian tradition? And of the few groups that actually do study and teach subjects truly Rosicrucian, even fewer actually practice these things as did their predecessors.
The following analysis of specific Rosicrucian societies and orders will reveal how precious little there truly Rosicrucian among many of them, except of course that they all call themselves Rosicrucian. There are, however, a few noteworthy exceptions. The Freemasonic Rosicrucian research bodies SRIA, SRIC, and MSRICF dedicate themselves exclusively to historical research about Rosicrucianism. Furthermore, there have existed Rosicrucian orders for hundreds of years that were only open to Freemasons (quite notably the Fraternitas Aureae et Rosea Crucis in 18th Century Germany). This gives these august Freemasonic Rosicrucian research societies a certain unique claim to a continuity of the historical Rosicrucian tradition. These societies, however, do not actually practice alchemy, theurgy, gnosticism, qabalah, hermeticism, or esoteric Christianity as did their predecessors.
Indeed, there exists only one, single, modern Rosicrucian order that actually practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, hermeticism, and esoteric Christianity in addition to studying and teaching them. This is S.L. MacGregor Mathers' Roscicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega (A.O.) and its Second Order, the R.R. et A.C. The Alpha et Omega today possesses the archival documents of nearly all earlier Rosicrucian bodies...their secret alchemical instructions, their esoteric teachings, their initiation rituals, and the complete instructions of their grades. All of this puts Mathers' A.O. in a unique position as a living, practicing inheritor of the historical Rosicrucian tradition.
All of the information given below is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge. The purpose of making this following information available is to diminish public confusion by providing true and accurate information about the various Rosicrucian organizations having a presence on the internet. Any errors are unintentional and not deliberate. We invite any Rosicrucian organization to inform us in writing of any mistake we might unintentionally have made.
- Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega (A.O.)® - The historical Rosicrucian tradition has practiced both Alchemy and Theurgy (Magic) since its inception. Most modern "Rosicrucian" groups offer little or nothing in this traditional regard. The Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega, founded by S.L. MacGregor Mathers in Paris in 1906, however, offers a complete course in training in both Rosicrucian Theurgy (Magic) and Rosicrucian Alchemy. The Alpha et Omega is not only the inheritor of the operative Rosicrucian and Hermetic traditions, but of the esoteric transmissions of nearly every earlier Rosicrucian fraternity as well, including the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order (18th Century Germany), the Asiatic Brethren, Bacstrom's Rosicrucian Society, the FAR+C, etc. Moreover, A.O.'s Third Order additionally offers initiation and training in Hermetic Inner Alchemy and Alchemical Theurgy, which use love and sexuality as "subtle fires" to "cook" and transmute the matter of the physical body (the "prima materia") into ever more subtle forms of energy. The goal of this process is the cultivation of a "Solar body of light" into which the alchemist projects his or her consciousness at the moment of death, thus becoming consciously immortal. These practices have always comprised the highest teachings of both the Hermetic and the Rosicrucian alchemical traditions.
- Their First or Outer Order is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. (H.O.G.D.). Their Second Order is the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (R.R. et A.C.). The name of their Third Order is a carefully guarded secret. Unlike the newly created American groups calling themselves "Golden Dawn," yet having no legitimate connection with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn founded in Great Britain in 1888, this order is a direct lineal descendent of the original H.O.G.D. and the sole and exclusive owner of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® trademark in the European Union (reg. 000063925). They additionally own the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn International® trademark in Canada (CIPO Reg. TMA510387). In the United States, they operate by legal agreement adopted by United States District Court as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.® They hold primary Golden Dawn lineage deriving directly from the secret Continental European order of Hermetic alchemists, commonly referred to as the "Secret Chiefs" (Geheime Oberen), who are the "source of origin" of all of the initiation rituals, teachings, and spiritual practices of all of the grades comprising all three orders set forth in the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. These lineages were transmitted through Kenneth MacKenzie in 1850 (for the First Order, the H.O.G.D.), S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1891 (for the Second Order, the R.R. et A.C.), and through Jean-Pascal Ruggiu and David Griffin in 2002 (for the Third Order). They hold auxiliary lineages that include R.W. Felkin's Stella Matutina, S.L. MacGregor Mathers' Alpha et Omega, A.E. Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, G.W. MacGregor Reid's Ancient Druid Order, Madeline Montalban's Order of the Morning Star (Ordo Stella Matutina), and Countess Tamara Bourkoun's Order of the Pyramid and the Sphinx as transmitted by Desmond Bourke, Countess Tamara Bourkoun, and Marquis Nicholas Tereschenko. They additionally hold a vast array of supplementary Rosicrucian lineages and/or esoteric transmissions that include the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order (Fraternitas Aureae et Rosae Crucis), the Order of the Asiatic Brethren (Fratres Lucis), the Societas Rosicruciana of Backstrom, Les Frères Ainées de la Rose+Croix (F.A.R.+C., The Elder Brothers of the Rose+Cross), the Rose Croix d'Orient (Rose Cross of Egypt) and the Reaux Croix (Elus Cohen).
- In order to distinguish themselves from the groups engendered by Regardie's and Crowley's publications that dead end where the published material leaves off, this order decided in 1999 to completely reform its Second Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (R.R. et A.C.), and moved all material that had been profaned by publication to its outer order, the (H.O.G.D.). As a result, where the Regardie-based Golden Dawn groups leave off, their Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., just begins with a completely traditional and extremely substantial magical and alchemical curriculum derived entirely from pre-Golden Dawn, Hermetic and Rosicrucian esoteric transmissions. The putative "Second Orders" of the Regardie-based groups, on the other hand, are but empty shells containing little or nothing beyond well-known, published material. Another important distinction is that their beginning students study and practice ritual magic immediately upon entering their First Order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In the Regardie-based groups, however, the practice of ritual magic is largely reserved for their putative "Second Orders," merely because these groups have little or nothing to teach their students beyond what is available in any esoteric bookstore.
- The distinction between this order and the Regardie-based groups does not end at the Second Order level. The Golden Dawn was originally conceived in 1888 as merely the beginning of a three order system, comprising grades form Neophyte (0=0) through Ipsissisimus (10=1) with the R.R. et A.C. as the Golden Dawn's Second Order. Golden Dawn co-founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, received the material to create the R.R. et A.C. from physical representatives of the extremely secretive, Continental European mystery school to whom Mathers referred to as the "Secret Chiefs," and with whom he established contact in 1891 in Paris. At that historic meeting, Mathers was also given certain teachings about spiritual sexuality, notably certain techniques of "Hermetic Inner Alchemy" and "Alchemical Magic," which were intended for eventual inclusion in the Golden Dawn's projected Third Order. Unfortunately, Mathers passed away before he mastered these techniques well enough to manifest the Golden Dawn's planned Third Order. Mathers nonetheless did communicate some of the more advanced teachings regarding spiritual sexuality to certain students, like J.W. Brodie Innes.
- In 2002, leaders of the European headquartered H.O.G.D. were invited to meet with representatives of Mathers' "Secret Chiefs" in Paris once again. At this meeting, they were given everything for the Third Order that had been envisioned for the Golden Dawn since its inception in 1888. These materials included the initiation rituals for the Golden Dawn system's three highest grades (called "Magisteria"); Magister Templi (8-3), Magus (9=2) and Ipsissimus (10=1). Unlike the higher grades of R.W. Felkin's "Stella Matutina" or of A.E. Waite's "Fellowship of the Rosy Cross" these grades are not merely nominal or titular, but come with substantial, extremely advanced teachings. The order was given, for the curriculum of these higher grades, a vast esoteric corpus including not only the elementary sexual practices from Hermetic Inner Alchemy and Alchemical Magic given to Mathers by the "Secret Chiefs" for the first Magisterium of Magister Templi, but the continuation and culmination of these teachings for the second and third Magisteria of Magus and Ipsissimus as well.
- The techniques of Hermetic "Inner" Alchemy comprise the highest wisdom and represent the capstone on the pyramid of the Western esoteric tradition. This alchemical practice uses the subtle fires of the body, including love and sexuality, to transmute the "lead" of the physical body (or "Prima Materia") into the "gold" of a solar body, into which the Adept projects his or her consciousness at the moment of death, thus becoming consciously immortal.
- Rosae Rubea et Aurea Crucis (R.R. et A.C.)® - The R.R. et A.C. is the Second Order of S.L. MacGregor Mathers' Alpha et Omega and was founded by Mathers (1854-1918) in 1892 as the Second Order of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (1888). The Rosicrucian affiliation of the A.O. order derives through Hungarian Count Apponyi through Kenneth MacKenzie in 1851 and S.L. MacGregor Mathers from Frater Lux E Tenebris in 1891. The R.R. et A.C. enjoys the unique distinction of being the only modern Rosicrucian order that studies, teaches, and also practices every esoteric aspect of the historical Rosicrucian traditon (alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, hermeticism, and esoteric Christianity).
- Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (A.M.O.R.C.) - A.M.O.R.C. was first founded as the American branch of the European A.A.O.R.R.A.C. around 1912. Its first Imperator was Dr. H. Spencer Lewis (1883-1939). He was succeeded by his son Ralph Maxwell Lewis (1902-1987), who developed the mail lesson and home initiation system. The tenure of A.M.O.R.C.'s third Imperator, Gary Stewart (1953-), ended in corruption scandal and massive schism that created a plethora of A.M.O.R.C. clones. Stewart was then succeeded by the former French Grand Master, Christian Bernard, who remains the current Imperator.
- There exists nothing whatsoever in the teachings of A.M.O.R.C. today that have anything even remotely to do with legitimate, historical Rosicrucian tradition. A.M.O.R.C. neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. Instead, A.M.O.R.C.'s teachings consist entirely of mysticism and metaphysical speculations. They have a scientific style, with practical experiments and instructions. They also reflect a distinctly modern, psychological approach to mysticism, including ideas like the power of positive thinking. A.M.O.R.C. possesses no significant archival documents from historical Rosicrucian bodies that contain any truly Rosicrucian esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- Ancient Rosae Crucis (A.R.C.) - The A.R.C. is a schismatic order, located only in the U.S.A, created by former members of A.M.O.R.C. following the Stewart corruption scandal. Ashley McFadden is the present Imperatrix. ARC is only located in the USA. ARC's teachings are based on the A.M.O.R.C. lessons of the 1950's and thus have nothing to do with legitimate, historical Rosicrucian tradition. ARC neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. ARC possesses no significant archival documents from historical Rosicrucian bodies that contain any truly Rosicrucian esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (A.A.O.R.R.A.C.) - The Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (A.A.O.R.R.A.C.) is another schismatic order from AMORC. This order was created after World War II, and thus represents a "pre-Stewart" schism caused when AMORC's Grand Master resigned. Eduard Munninger [1901-1965] founded A.A.O.R.R.A.C.. Former AMORC member Karl Plank heads the order today. Like the other AMORC schismatic orders, the A.A.O.R.R.A.C.'s teachings are based on AMORC's and thus have nothing to do with legitimate, historical Rosicrucian tradition. A.A.O.R.R.A.C. neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. They apparently have had significant contacts with the OTO, however, so there might be a Thelemic influence. A.A.O.R.R.A.C. possesses no significant archival documents from historical Rosicrucian bodies that contain any truly Rosicrucian esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc
- Confraternity of the Rose Cross (CR+C) The Confraternity of the Rose Cross (CR+C) is a schismatic order led by former AMORC Imperator Gary Lee Stewart (1953-) and connected with the Ordo Militia Crucifera Evangelica (OMCE), a Templar order also led by Stewart. Since CR+C's teachings are directly based on AMORC's lessons, they have little to do with the legitimate, historical Rosicrucian tradition. CR+C neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, nor hermeticism. ARC possesses no significant archival documents from historical Rosicrucian bodies that contain any truly Rosicrucian esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (F.R.A.) - Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua was founded by the German esotericist Arnoldo Krumm-Heller [1879-1949] around 1927 in South-America. Krum-Heller was in contact with OTO, OMM, Martinism, A.M.O.R.C., FRC and more. He also received degrees from both Papus and Reuss. Little is known about the teachings of FRA. They are reputed to practice a theurgical system using runes. The different branches in different countries today all function independently. Although they do practice theurgy, it is unlikely that they study, teach, nor practice alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism and thus likely have little to do with legitimate, historical Rosicrucian tradition. They are not known to possess any significant archival documents from historical Rosicrucian bodies that contain any truly Rosicrucian esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- Fraternitas Rosae Crucis (F.R.C.) - The F.R.C. was founded by Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966) around 1920. Clymer today remains most famous for his quarrels and court battles with H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of A.M.O.R.C.. The headquarters, Beverly Hall is located in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Clymer claimed to have received an affiliation from Pascal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875). This appears to be untrue, Clymer actually having purchased some of Randolph's documents after his death. Nonetheless, the teachings of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis are based on the writings of Randolph who appears to have had at least a legitimate Rosicrucian esoteric transmission. Nonetheless, the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. FRC does not possess any significant archival documents whatsoever from historical Rosicrucian bodies containing any esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc., with the noteworthy exception of the Randolph documents.
- Invisible Temple No. 0, - The Invisible Temple No. 0, (R.R. et A.C.) is a group apparently consisting mostly of high grade members of the Freemasonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (MSRICF). MSRICF claims to be a Freemasonic society dedicated to exclusively to historical research about Rosicrucianism. MSRICF is open by invitation only, and exclusively to high grade Freemasons, and requires that its members belong to no other Rosicrucian orders or societies. It therefore seems like the real reason why the clandestine Temple No. 0 remains invisible is to protect many its members from being thrown out of MSRICF.
- A few years ago, a high grade member of MSRICF from Toulouse, France approached Senior Adepts of the real RR+AC with an amazing story. He had just returned from a meeting of the Freemasonic College of Rites in the USA. At that meeting, MSRICF was preparing to install itself in France. On that occasion, this high grade Freemason from the York rite in France, was given one of the highest grades in MSRICF Astonishingly, however, he also claimed that the Invisible Temple No. 0, Ordo Roseae Rubeae et Aurea Crucis had then been clandestinely convened in a hotel room to confer upon him the Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) degree of the RR+AC. He further claimed to have received a Golden Dawn charter from this clandestine temple.
- He then approached Adepts of the real RR+AC with this fantastic story, asking them to give formal recognition to his grade and charter, although he himself had never seen the inside of a Golden Dawn temple. They of course refused. This Freemason and member of MSRICF appeared not to understand at all why the 7=4 Grade of the RR+AC could not legitimately be conferred on him with a wave of a hand like the higher degrees of MSRICF.
- He claimed that the legitimacy of both his Golden Dawn charter and Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) Initiation derive from Gary Ford, a member of MSRICF and founder of the clandestine Invisible Temple No. 0. Gary Ford allegedly received both his 7=4 initiation and Golden Dawn charter from Christopher Hyatt. Pat Zalewski of New Zealand has fortunately been able to lay the fantastic claims of this false RR+AC Invisible Temple No. 0 to rest once and for all. According to Pat Zalewski, the only charter that Christopher Hyatt ever received was a conditional one for the grades of the outer order only. Furthermore, Zalewski only initiated Christopher Hyatt up to the 6=5 grade of Adeptus Major. Gary Ford apparently claims that Hyatt received his 7=4 from Israel Regardie. Pat Zalewski, however, states in no uncertain terms that this is nonsense, that he never initiated Israel Regardie into the 7=4 Grade. The 7=4 Grade certificate for Israel Regardie published by Hyatt in "The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic" was signed after the death of Regardie. The notion that Hyatt ever received the 7=4 grade from Regardie, according to Zalewski is nonsense.
- Thus the wild claims of this MSRICF member and the Clandestine Temple No. 0 of this fake RR+AC have been laid to rest once and for all. What is most astonishing, however, is that the High Council continues to allow members of MSRICF to belong to Gary Ford's pseudo-rosicrucian order, considering MSRICF's requirement that its members belong to no other Rosicrucian order or society. Perhaps the High Council of MSRICF are not even aware of the existence of the Invisible Temple No. 0 or Gary Ford's clandestine pseudo-Rosicrucian activities. In any case, it is clear that the clandestine Temple Nº 0 has no legitimacy in any sense and confers the grades of the RR+AC in a completely irregular manner. The grades of the true RR+AC imply a great deal of theurgical and alchemical work, and thus can not be handed out willy-nilly like the grades of MSRICF.
- "I gave Regardie a 7=4 as an honorary capacity after his death. Those who knew Regardie knew he never would accept a 7=4 from anyone living. Gary Ford when he went through Regardie's papers found a telegram from me stating he was a 7=4. That is pretty much a joke. Regardie and I used to promote and demote ourselves almost on a monthly basis. When he did something good he was a 7=4 and when I was bad, I was demoted to 2=9. Ford took this seriously though. In fact I knew Gary Ford, respected his talents and quite liked the man. I sent him the telegram to Regardie when he sent a batch of his past papers. Regardie was never a 7=4 or considered himself one. Even the 6=5 I gave him he treated in an honorary capacity, with a bit of humor. The wording of the charter given to Hyatt is often overlooked and what that charter actually empowered to. It exclusively gave him the right to initiate and advance candidates in the grades the Outer order, not the Inner." -Pat Zalewski
- Lectorium Rosicrucianum - (International School of the Golden Rosy Cross) Lectorium Rosicrucianum claims to be the successor of the 18th Century German Gold und Rosenkreutz Orden (Fraternitas Aureae et Rosae Crucis) but nothing could be further from the truth. Actually they have no Rosicrucian affiliation whatsoever. Founded in 1924 as a branch of the Rosicrucian Fellowship by Jan van Rijckenborgh (1896-1968) whose real name was Jan Leene, Lectorium Rosicrucianum took on its present name in 1945 having become independent following a schism in 1936.
- The Lectorium Rosicrucianum neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, qabalah, hermeticism, nor esoteric Christianity. Instead, they teach an extremely dualistic, Gnostic pessimism inspired by the Cathars. They view matter as something inherently evil and shun all forms of occultism.
- This would be fine if they called themselves the "International School of the Cathar Gnostic Pessimism," but they do not. Instead they claim to be the successors of the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order. This is a philosophical contradiction. The Gold und Rosenkreutz Order were hermeticists and practicing alchemists. True Rosicrucian hermeticism, as practiced by the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order, sees matter as containing a divine spark, as the "prima materia," a most precious substance to be used in the "opus magnum" (great work) and transmuted into Spirit. Furthermore, the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order not only studied and taught the historical Rosicrucian subjects, but practiced them as well, including theurgy (magic) and alchemy. The world view of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum is not only diametrically opposed to that of the true the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order, but they actually shun the practices of the order as well!
- The Rose Cross Order (Orden Rosacruz) - Headquartered in Las Palmas in the Spanish Canary Islands, this order, led by Angel Martín Velayos appears to be yet another modern start-up without any true Rosicrucian lineage or practices at all. They give no historical information on their I and repeated requests for factual information about their history have not been answered. They do have a beautiful website, however, and appear to be investing a great deal of money in marketing on the internet.
- Order of the Grail, Joan of Arc Commandery The Order of the Grail, officially known as the Rosicrucian and Military Order of the Sacred Grail is a
traditional order of mystic chivalry.
- The Rosicrucian Fellowship - (Association of Christian Mystics) - The Rosicrucian Fellowship was founded in 1911 by Max Heindel (1865-1919), whose real name was Carl Louis von Grasshof. The group's headquarters is in Oceanside, CA. Heindel never claimed his group to be descendants of historical Rosicrucians. Inspired by Rudolph Steiner, the teachings of the Rosicrucian Fellowship derive directly from the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky. These teachings have almost nothing to do with the historical Rosicrucian traditon. The Rosicrucian Fellowship neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. They do, however, teach some things concerning astrology, although not along Rosicrucian lines. They possess no significant archival documents from earlier Rosicrucian bodies containing any esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- The Rosicrucian Fellowship - The Rosicrucian Fellowship was founded in 1911 by Max Heindel (1865-1919), whose real name was Carl Louis von Grasshof. The group's headquarters is in Oceanside, CA. Heindel never claimed his group to be descendants of historical Rosicrucians. Inspired by Rudolph Steiner, the teachings of the Rosicrucian Fellowship derive directly from the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky. These teachings have almost nothing to do with the historical Rosicrucian traditon. The Rosicrucian Fellowship neither studies, teaches, nor practices alchemy, theurgy, gnosticism, qabalah, nor hermeticism. They do, however, teach some things concerning astrology, although not along Rosicrucian lines. They possess no significant archival documents from earlier Rosicrucian bodies containing any esoteric teachings, secret alchemical instructions, initiation rituals, etc.
- Sodalitas Rosae Crucis et Solis Alati - The Sodalitas Rosae Crucis et Solis Alati is an order in apparently struggling to find its own identity. The group states that it is a hybrid of the Rosicrucianism, Gnosticism, Martinistism, Golden Dawn, and Egyptian Freemasonry.
- Societas Rosicruciana in America - The Societas Rosicruciana in America (improperly called S.R.I.A. to cause confusion with the real, British S.R.I.A.) is an irregular Freemasonic-style Occult society founded by George Plummer. Plummer submitted an application to gain recognition and regularity for the Soc. Ros. in America from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and corresponded briefly in this regard with W. Wynn Wescott. The application was immediately rejected by the High Council of the Soc. Ros. In Anglia. The American's organization's persistence in calling itself "S.R.I.A." (sic) is therefore obviously indicative of an intent to mislead the public.
- Due to Plummer's brief correspondence with Wescott, false but persistent rumors have been circulated for years that the Soc. Ros. In America received either a Golden Dawn charter or a regular ritual transmission from Wescott. That this deception has been intentional is evidenced on the orders website where they write: "it was during this time that the Societas Rosicruciana in America received the status from Dr. Wm. W. Westcott to work with the Golden Dawn system." In reality, there exists no evidence at all that the Soc. Ros. In America ever received either a charter or even a regular ritual transmission from either the Golden Dawn or any if its derivative orders.
- The Soc. Ros. In America did eventually begin to work a version of Golden Dawn ritual, which was derived not from Wescott, but rather pieced together from Aleister Crowley's published account of Golden Dawn rituals in "The Equinox." In a move to achieve at least a veneer of legitimacy, the Soc. Ros. In America appointed Aleister Crowley to its board of directors, before finally obtaining a Rosicrucian charter of questionable validity from the Quakertown Rosicrucians descending from Reuben Swinburne Clymer.
- In the 1980s and 1990s, the group was presided over by "Sister Lucia" Grosch. Whatever tenuous lineage Soc. Ros. In America might ever have enjoyed, with certainty ended when Grosch dissolved its high council in the 1980s. Grosch was later sued by Mr. Frank Modica in the 1990's in a real property suit that nearly bankrupted Grosch. Substantally destitute, Grosch accepted financial assistance from Maria Babwahsingh apparently in exchange for handing over leadership of the Soc. Ros. In America to Babwahsingh.
- Under Maria Babwahsingh's present leadership, the Soc. Ros. in America today makes a host of specious and misleading lineage claims on its sria.org website including claims of charters from the Golden Dawn, the R.R. et A.C., and the Alpha et Omega. These claims have been deemed vacuous by Golden Dawn historian, Anthony Fleming (aka Tony Fuller), who wrote: "If I am correct in thinking that you dispute any direct and official ritual transmission from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina or Alpha et Omega to the Soc. Ros. in America, then I agree with you. Their rituals are sui generis and while, as noted by R.A. Gilbert there is Golden Dawn material included in some of them, I am not aware of any evidence that this occurred through any authorized Charter, Warrant, etc. from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina, or Alpha et Omega." Indeed, closer examination of the host of alleged charters published on the Soc. Ros. In America website reveals them, in actually, to be nothing but a collection of worthless, and completely unrelated documents.
- Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.) - The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) originated in Edinburgh on December 31, 1866, when Robert Wentworth Little (1840-1878) and William Haughan were initiated into a Rosicrucian Society in Scotland. This society was based on an earlier Rosicrucian society in England about which little is known, except that it is likely of Britanic origin and that the ritual they used had no relationship to the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order in Germany.
- The Freemasonic Rosicrucian research bodies (SRIA, SRIC, and MSRICF) all dedicate themselves exclusively to historical research about Rosicrucianism. Since there have indeed existed Rosicrucian orders open only to Freemasons since 18th Century Germany (Fraternitas Aureae et Rosea Crucis), Freemasonic Rosicrucian research societies at the very least stand as the structural inheritors of Freemasonic Rosicrucianism. Thus they indeed enjoy a unique claim to continuance of an important aspect of the historical Rosicrucian tradition. These societies study all aspects of the historical Rosicrucian tradition, including alchemy, theurgy, astrology, gnosticism, qabalah, hermeticism, and esoteric Christianity. They do not, however, practice any of these disciplines.
- The reliability of the SRIA possessing any sort of legitimate Rosicrucian affiliation has been seriously compromised by two false stories about its origins historically propagated by the society. According to the first story: "An 18th century Italian Ambassador came to England who possessed certain Rosicrucian secrets, the authority to confer grades and to pass on to disciples that authority. Among the last of those disciples was Grand Secretary, W.H. White. White initiated R.W. Little into the secrets of the fraternity and gave him the authority to recruit others. Little later found some Rosicrucian papers in the cellar of Freemasons' Hall which became the ritual of SRIA." A version of this story was deliberately propagated by the society with the knowledge of the High Council, when W. Wynn Wescott published it in "The Historical Notes of the SRIA." The only proof of this story cited by Wescott was the first page of a letter written by Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England, T.F. Ravenshaw. This story was later proven to be false and every shred of evidence refuted in a paper by Freemasonic researcher Bruce Wilson in 1947. The aforementioned letter had been published by Wescott in incomplete form, for example. Bruce Wilson found and published the entire letter, the second page of which clearly demonstrated that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the SRIA, but rather with the Red Cross of Constantine.
- The second story concerned Kenneth MacKenzie (1833-1866) and was first circulated in 1892. The story alleged that: "MacKenzie had early in his life been the tutor of Count Apponyi in Austria, where he was initiated into the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order (FA+RC) and given the IX degree. He was further given the authority to establish a Rosicrucian society in England, which he then communicated to Little." MacKenzie was listed as a Past Magus of the SRIA on a leaflet stating the aims of the society in 1892, signed by then Secretary General W.J. Ferguson. The attempt to posthumously frame MacKenzie as the founder of the society, and thus claim for the SRIA an affiliation deriving from the Fraternitas Aureae et Rosae Crucis in Germany, reached new depths of depravity when even the original Society register was altered. MacKenzie's name originally stood as number 114. This was altered to 0. This story was also refuted and the relevant forgeries exposed by Bruce Wilson. Wilson also explained how the fiction of MacKenzie as the founder of SIRA was quickly dropped, but survived in a modified form wherein MacKenzie was said to have unofficially helped Little in founding the order in 1865.
- In his 1947 paper, "The Origin of our Rosicrucian Society," Wilson reveals an astonishing discovery. It turns out that Kenneth MacKenzie actually had been initiated into a Rosicrucian society and had indeed received a warrant from Count Apponyi. Furthermore, MacKenzie did actually use this warrant to found a Rosicrucian organization, but it was not the SRIA! Wilson reveals that the warranted organization was none other than the first phase of the Golden Dawn, as a branch of a Continental society called the Brothers of Light. This is a reference to the Order of the Asiatic Brethren (also called the Ritter und Bruder des Lichts or Knights and Brothers of Light).
- The Asiatic Brethren was a schismatic Rosicrucian order founded in 1780 by then member of the Gold und Rosenkreutz order Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen (1750-1790). Interestingly, the Asiatic Brethren was a Rosicrucian order which allowed Jews among its members at a time that antisemitism was rampant in Germany. Among its Jewish members figured prominent Qabalists from the heretical sect of Sabatai Zevi such as Ephraim Hirschfeld (?- 1819) and Thomas von Schonfeld (whose real name was Moses Dobrucshka). Thus the order of the Asiatic Brethren holds a unique place in the history of the Rosicrucian tradition, as having fully developed its Qabalistic aspect for the first time. Interestingly, the Sabataian Qabalah of the Asiatic Brethren is of exactly the same nature as that later found in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
- Bruce Wilson, in his revolutionary paper, goes on to explain that two temples of "Brothers of Light" were founded in England (Hermanoubis Temple N 2 was in Bristol under F.G. Irwin), but that they waited in vain for the rituals which were never completed. This explains why, when the triad of Woodman, MacGregor Mathers, and Westcott was completed, the Isis-Urania Temple was numbered as Temple N 3, since it was originally envisioned as a continuation of the first phase of the Golden Dawn. This likely also explains the origins of the mysterious "cypher manuscripts," which later fell into the hands of Wescott and eventually became the rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The cypher manuscripts were certainly the skeletal formula for the rituals of the society created by Kenneth MacKenzie to receive the Apponyi Rosicrucian affiliation and transmission.
- A number of scholars have speculated whether or not there might have been an historical relationship between the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the "Lodge zur goldenen Morgonrthe" in Frankfurt am Main. Recent research by Rosicrucian scholar Jean-Pascal Ruggiu (present Imperator of the Ahathor Temple N 7 of the Golden Dawn in Paris) has confirmed that this is indeed the case. Once again, the point of connection is the Order of the Asiatic Brethren. Ruggiu has confirmed that the Lodge zur goldenen Morgonrthe in 1807 became the refuge for many of its Jewish brethren when the Order of the Asiatic Brethren fell into abeyance.
- Bruce Wilson's landmark study today raises as many questions as it made revelations in 1947. First of all, why would W. Wynn Wescott attempt to appropriate for the SRIA the Rosicrucian affiliation given by Kenneth MacKenzie to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? In the process Wescott caused great harm to both societies, creating falsehoods and illusions about their origins while depriving the Golden Dawn of its rightful heritage.
- Secondly, why has the information contained in Wilson's 1947 paper not become common public knowledge prior to this present writing? In fact, when mention was first made of the Wilson paper in the third edition of SRICF (the American version of SRIA) researcher Harold Voorhis' book, A History of Organized Masonic Rosicrucianism, the SRIA broke off all relations with SRICF due to this incident for several years. Why did the SRIA behave in this odd way?
- Finally, one must note that the most widely published researcher of the history the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, R.A. Gilbert, is also a high ranking member of SRIA. Why is it in his thorough study of the history of this Hermetic Order, "The Golden Dawn, Twilight of the Magicians," Gilbert merely quotes "en passant" Wescott's recounting of the origins of the SRIA, with no mention whatsoever that these stories, together with the alleged Rosicrucian affiliation of the SRIA, have been thoroughly discredited? Indeed, why is there no mention whatsoever of Bruce Wilson's research, essential to an understanding of the Rosicrucian affiliation of the Golden Dawn, in any of Gilbert's publicly published works? Gilbert certainly must have been aware of Wilson's research. All of these things taken together give a compelling impression of an attempt to suppress the information revealed by Bruce Wilson's research, while maintaining a public illusion of an SRIA Rosicrucian affiliation and concealing the Golden Dawn's true and rightful Rosicrucian heritage through Kenneth MacKenzie.
- Societas Rosicruciana in Canada (S.R.I.C.) - The Canadian counterpart of the British S.R.I.A. A Freemasonic Rosicrucian research Society open only Master Masons.
- Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (M.S.R.I.C.F.) - The only legitimate counterpart of the British S.R.I.A. in the U.S.A. A Freemasonic Rosicrucian research Society open only Master Masons.