The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Comments on Cecil's Columns/Staff Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-21-2009, 07:45 PM
infoanarchist infoanarchist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
"What is Rosicrucianism All About" Flawed

Just noting that the article with the above title actually promotes ignorance rather than fighting it. Consider a more factual rewrite with more than a single non-web source.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-21-2009, 08:44 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Perhaps you could comment just a little bit on what exactly you think is wrong with the article, and maybe include a link so the rest of us can follow along.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-21-2009, 09:46 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 39,251
Here is a link to the original staff report.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-22-2009, 06:34 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
I'd like to know as well.

The subheading "sources" though is a little misleading. They are not really sources, per se, but websites where one can do further research. The first one, however, is where I took the quotes I cited earlier on in the article.

But my research comes from quite a few other sources such as Yates "The Rosicrusian Enlightenment", "The Real History of the Rosicrucians" by A. E. Waite (only as a touch point; I suspect a lot of misinformation about the Rosicrucians comes from here) and, of course, "Atlas" by Glen Baxter. Coupling that with thirty years as a practicing "rosicrucian" (I keep practicing ... still haven't gotten it right) and consequent readings in the history; I stand by my article.

Last edited by Eutychus; 05-22-2009 at 06:35 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-22-2009, 08:57 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,650
infoanarchist--are you a "one post bunny", hopping off into the wilderness with no explanation?
__________________
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
~~~William Butler Yeats
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-22-2009, 02:02 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
infoanarchist--are you a "one post bunny", hopping off into the wilderness with no explanation?
He's a healer. We won't know more for a hundred years.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
He's a healer. We won't know more for a hundred years.
No, he posted once.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:55 PM
infoanarchist infoanarchist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Hey, sorry for the delay, not a regular on here, just felt the need to draw attention to this. Eutychus: While your article was well written and engaging, there is no actual information on What Rosicrucianism is All About. It's just a pseudo-history. With thirty years as a Brother you should have a bit more insight into the practices and overall beliefs of one. Your feelings on A.E. Waite are well founded. He was a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was basically a Theosophist group, and founder of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which was another Golden Dawn offshoot. Not exactly authoritative.

Also, you speak of Christian Rosencreutz as if he was an actual person, which you ought to know was not the case.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:57 PM
infoanarchist infoanarchist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
And my genuine apologies for misunderstanding the use of "Sources".
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-23-2009, 06:45 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by infoanarchist View Post
Hey, sorry for the delay, not a regular on here, just felt the need to draw attention to this. Eutychus: While your article was well written and engaging, there is no actual information on What Rosicrucianism is All About. It's just a pseudo-history. With thirty years as a Brother you should have a bit more insight into the practices and overall beliefs of one. Your feelings on A.E. Waite are well founded. He was a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was basically a Theosophist group, and founder of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which was another Golden Dawn offshoot. Not exactly authoritative.

Also, you speak of Christian Rosencreutz as if he was an actual person, which you ought to know was not the case.
Well, as I say in the beginning, looking at occult groups can be a bit mystifying since you have apologists from every angle insisting that their version is the truth without much documented evidence.

I didn't outright state that Christian Rosenkreutz was a fictional character and the Rosy Cross a fictional group since we just don't have the evidence one way or another. I assume he was; no record of him has ever been found and the Spiritus Sanctus has never been located. But I also always hedge my bets.

As far as the beliefs go, in my article I focused on the original beliefs of the order. Since then, quite a few organizations have taken the name Rosicrucuian without any real philosphical connection to the tenets stated in the Fama. The SRIA has more of a Golden Dawn flavor. The Rosicrucian Fellowship is a form of Christian Theosophy. And the more well known AMORC is pretty much a form of mind-control. In fact, I think a lot of 1960's-70's self help and mind control philosophy was inspired by AMORC. I know that AMORC sued (I think successfully) Jose Silva's Mind Control Institute for illegally using their copyrighted teachings in his seminars.

As far as being a "pseudo-history." Bosh. It's a history of what is actually there. I can't be blamed if various "Rosicrucian" groups make up pseudo histories for themselves.

Last edited by Eutychus; 05-23-2009 at 06:46 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:11 AM
coremelt coremelt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
eutychus, I agree with the OP as far as your article says very little about what modern Rosicrucianism is about. What are the actual modern practices and philosophies of the various groups? More would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-23-2009, 02:12 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by coremelt View Post
eutychus, I agree with the OP as far as your article says very little about what modern Rosicrucianism is about. What are the actual modern practices and philosophies of the various groups? More would be appreciated.
I'll try to put something together. But as far as I'm concerned there is no "modern rosicrucianism." There are only groups who claim a tenuous link to the original Rosicrusiam group, if it ever really existed, and have used the term for their own purposes. Consequently, you won't find a consensus, or any clearly defined single modern Rosicrucian movement.

But it may take me a while. I'm getting married this coming weekend so you'll understand if I have a lot on my plate right now.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-23-2009, 05:38 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chatham, NJ, USA
Posts: 4,727
I know that Charles Williams was apparently initiated into the Golden Dawn, but he ended up a small-o orthodox Christian.
__________________
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-24-2009, 12:52 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Check out "The Rosicrucians" by Christopher McIntosh for a good primer.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-24-2009, 02:37 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: michigan
Posts: 26,307
http://www.rosicrucian.org/about/mas...ery06home.html This is what it is about today. It is a threat to no one . The temple in in San Jose ,California.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-24-2009, 06:20 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzomax View Post
http://www.rosicrucian.org/about/mas...ery06home.html This is what it is about today. It is a threat to no one . The temple in in San Jose ,California.
That's AMORC, which as has been pointed out is one specific thread of Rosicrucianism.

Last edited by mswas; 05-24-2009 at 06:21 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-25-2009, 01:55 AM
BigBertha BigBertha is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,649
I believe William Poundstone wrote about this in his book Bigger Secrets.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:13 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
Well, as I say in the beginning, looking at occult groups can be a bit mystifying since you have apologists from every angle insisting that their version is the truth without much documented evidence.

I didn't outright state that Christian Rosenkreutz was a fictional character and the Rosy Cross a fictional group since we just don't have the evidence one way or another. I assume he was; no record of him has ever been found and the Spiritus Sanctus has never been located. But I also always hedge my bets.

As far as the beliefs go, in my article I focused on the original beliefs of the order. Since then, quite a few organizations have taken the name Rosicrucuian without any real philosphical connection to the tenets stated in the Fama. The SRIA has more of a Golden Dawn flavor. The Rosicrucian Fellowship is a form of Christian Theosophy. And the more well known AMORC is pretty much a form of mind-control. In fact, I think a lot of 1960's-70's self help and mind control philosophy was inspired by AMORC. I know that AMORC sued (I think successfully) Jose Silva's Mind Control Institute for illegally using their copyrighted teachings in his seminars.

As far as being a "pseudo-history." Bosh. It's a history of what is actually there. I can't be blamed if various "Rosicrucian" groups make up pseudo histories for themselves.

There is a book alleging that AMORC is a form of mind control; it has been widely panned as nonsense.

If AMORC is mind control, then so is watching TV or any other activity where you take in vaguely persuasive information remote from the source of origin!

The SRIA does not 'have a Golden Dawn flavour'. While the SRIA is the GD's ancestor, to all intents and purposes it is a *very* different group.

Also, it is nothing to do with Theosophy, as has been also stated here. It is quite Christian, quite Masonic, quite ritualistic.

I doubt there is any version of Rosicrucianism, even the first recorded groups in the 18th century, who could be said to have a verifiable link to the Fama.

On Christian Rosencreuz, I agree, it largely depends who you ask, as to his origins. One R+C tradition maintains that he was a minor aristocrat from the Germelhausen family . . . other 'experts' say he's an emanation of divine energy . . . mmm. Every other possible explanation in between those two extremes has been given at one time or another.

Ben
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-25-2009, 12:46 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
The search for authenticity amongst the occult has seemed like an obsession that is almost beside the point.

It describes to me a lack of faith. A lot of these organizations put God centrally to their theme, but then believe that they can only find God in some great antiquity. If someone cannot find God on May 25, 2009 at 1:30 PM, then what makes them think they'll find him in the 1600s?

This article's focus on the authenticity of Rosicrucianism seems to miss the point entirely, but it's a common theme when perusing occult literature. The modern mindset seeks to find Empirical proof, with the occult we substitute historical authenticity for literal proof as though the philosophical descent from some real or imagined godling gives one a greater purchase on the mantle of enlightenment. Enlightenment as such is treated as something unattainable, and therefore for many becomes unattainable because we build up these idolatrous shackles around ourselves in relationship to the grail that we seek. The lessons are all there, seek inside yourself, live a good moral life, help and heal others. That's available to anyone on the most superficial reading. There is no deep and mysterious, 'how', to attain these, there are many different ways and they are all available. If you have trouble controlling your thoughts and keeping your mind from running all over the place, go to a Buddhist temple in Thailand for 10 days and practice meditation, it will benefit you for your whole life. Why are you going to Thailand? Is it to seek 'authenticity'? No, it is to break you out of your normal habituated patterns by immersing yourself in a foreign environment where everyone around you is dedicating themselves to the same task. The 'authenticity' thing is just more identity seeking.

It is no big secret that these occult organizations have pins, buttons, badges, honors and aprons galore that symbolize this or that attainment. Inwardly we seek symbols that tell us we have attained things. In the end the symbol is only useful in as much as it helps one to attain things. An emblem that one wears outwardly is only useful in as much as it tells others that you are able to help them attain things. The search for authenticity is just a very deep-seated and sophisticated manner of searching for identity. But it is still an outward modality, it is exoteric rather than esoteric. If joining AMORC or SRIA puts you in touch with people who can help you on your path to wisdom then so be it, if they can't then so be that too.

We have created this notion of 'The Wise' as though somewhere out there Gandalf the Red or Enoch the Grey/White are running around and will tap us on the shoulders awakening us to true Hermes/Christ/Buddha consciousness. It is a waste of time to seek this because it's simply fantasy, tilting at windmills. Some people are wiser than others, and they are everywhere. There is something to be learned from everyone. Be sharp as snakes and innocent as doves as Jesus would have you do.

So much time is wasted on the search for authenticity. We see it in schismatic sects in every religion. All of this hot air blown over which one is maintaining the true revelation, fighting the good fight against the heretics, but that is IMO the true nature of what it is to be 'Of' the world as Jesus put it. Too obsessed with the outward accoutrements. "Am I in the correct rite? Am I worshipping the correct God?", of course everyone is trying to sell you on their version of what is right and true, but that's the crux of it, they are trying to sell you something.

I believe seek and ye shall find. God is God.

All religious/spiritual traditions have been uprooted as far as I can tell, there is no direct line to some sort of authentic source. And even if there is, what makes people believe that back in some great antiquity there was one guy who got it right while everyone before and since has gotten it wrong?

So no, SRIA and AMORC are not authentically descended from whatever source they claim to be, but that's irrelevant. Besides, those on the outside of these organizations usually get core tenets spectacularly wrong. That's the essence of a secret society, those who know don't say, and those who say, don't know. And even if you heard five different tales, with one of them being absolutely true, how would you know which one it is?

Eutychus is right, when delving into the occult, it is always quite murky, that's why it's called the occult.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-25-2009, 04:42 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Well, no, it's not murky because of all of that. It's murky because of what I stated in the first sentence of my article.

I don't have a whole lot of time for a lengthy back and forth on this, so I'll just make a few points.

1 : When I said "mind control" I wasn't talking about controlling other people's minds, but your own. That why AMORC's philosophy is called "The Mastery of Life." They feel that is you can master your own mind enough, you're able to control yourself and your surroundings and circumstances better. However, one of their early exercises has you trying to make someone turn around by staring at the back of their head; a talent that Charles Xavier should have been looking into seeing how useful it might be.

2 : Just because a group puts on the label of "occult" does not dismiss them from the same historical standards that we would apply to any other association, such as The Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, the Republican Party or the Elks. The problem with most of these groups is that they usually claim directives from some "secret chiefs" or some such mysterious benefactor who comes to them in the dead of night wearing shadowy clothes drinking vile, foamy liquids from a Hello Kitty coffee mug, and installs them with legitimacy which the unwashed must therefore accept. I say twaddle. I can categorically state that there is no historical link and just barely any philosphical link between the original Rosicrucians, if they ever did exist, and any modern day group.

3 : Spiritual ancestry doesn't equate to historical ancestry. Just because I am a patriot doesn't make me a member of the pre-Revolutionary War Sons of Liberty than it makes me Joe Lewis. My artcile was about what the Rosicrucians believed. That's what I wrote. Modern "Rosicrucians" are such in name only. Spiritual ancestry as a philosophical standard in this case barely holds water. As a historical standard, it sucks.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-25-2009, 04:43 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
those who know don't say, and those who say, don't know.
You don't say!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-25-2009, 11:46 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
You don't say!
I don't!

I know a funny bit of trivia regarding the founder of AMORC, but I'm not going to tell it.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-25-2009, 11:59 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
Well, no, it's not murky because of all of that. It's murky because of what I stated in the first sentence of my article.

I don't have a whole lot of time for a lengthy back and forth on this, so I'll just make a few points.

1 : When I said "mind control" I wasn't talking about controlling other people's minds, but your own. That why AMORC's philosophy is called "The Mastery of Life." They feel that is you can master your own mind enough, you're able to control yourself and your surroundings and circumstances better. However, one of their early exercises has you trying to make someone turn around by staring at the back of their head; a talent that Charles Xavier should have been looking into seeing how useful it might be.
Not terribly difficult to do actually. Hardly some super secret occult technique, but most people don't think of making it a 'skill'. And well, 'mind control', in the sense you are using it is at the root of so many different occult/spiritual practices as to be a pretty common thing. One must learn, 'stillness', IE the ability to get the forebrain to shut the hell up, before they can truly be said to be a thinker. That is what Buddhist meditation is about, it's integral to Yoga, or Qi Gong, or Kung Fu or any Martial Art for that matter. I took some Qi Gong classes and he used some very good techniques for moving one's consciousness back and forth in one's mind to change the way one used one's brain, and well I saw the effectiveness in the technique. It basically got one out of the forebrain thinking into that calm state where we all get when we act naturally and don't 'think' about what we are doing we just act, and people's postures changed completely. I saw it demonstrated in a martial arts capacity where people were thrown back with the slightest of movements. It wasn't magic, it was because one who can harmonize their brain so that the entire body is in concert can manifest the power of all the muscle groups in the body in sync into a single focal point.

Quote:
2 : Just because a group puts on the label of "occult" does not dismiss them from the same historical standards that we would apply to any other association, such as The Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, the Republican Party or the Elks. The problem with most of these groups is that they usually claim directives from some "secret chiefs" or some such mysterious benefactor who comes to them in the dead of night wearing shadowy clothes drinking vile, foamy liquids from a Hello Kitty coffee mug, and installs them with legitimacy which the unwashed must therefore accept. I say twaddle. I can categorically state that there is no historical link and just barely any philosphical link between the original Rosicrucians, if they ever did exist, and any modern day group.
I don't think that groups that get labelled 'occult' generally refer to themselves as 'occult'. Occult just means hidden. Occultists are people who delve into hidden mysteries. It's pretty mundane when you think about it really. You can categorically state it but as you can't prove a damn bit of it, it doesn't matter what you can categorically state does it? You'd have to claim a greater understanding of the philosophical link than those others to be able to categorically state something like that wouldn't you? I for one have never met a single person that thinks Christian Rosencreutz is or ever was a real person.

Quote:
3 : Spiritual ancestry doesn't equate to historical ancestry. Just because I am a patriot doesn't make me a member of the pre-Revolutionary War Sons of Liberty than it makes me Joe Lewis. My artcile was about what the Rosicrucians believed. That's what I wrote. Modern "Rosicrucians" are such in name only. Spiritual ancestry as a philosophical standard in this case barely holds water. As a historical standard, it sucks.
I was referring to a lineage of ritual endowment. Like how Freemasons talk about their ancient rituals, which are such as they are unbroken back to 1717. Any claim beyond that is speculation that most Freemasons don't really buy into. Right, so YOU know what the REAL Rosicrucians believed, and the Rosicrucian orders of today are just posers right? Is that what you are categorically stating? So what makes you so sure that you can discern what is authentic and what is not as opposed to all those posers and fools in the SRIA and AMORC?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-26-2009, 04:27 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
I was referring to a lineage of ritual endowment. Like how Freemasons talk about their ancient rituals, which are such as they are unbroken back to 1717. Any claim beyond that is speculation that most Freemasons don't really buy into. Right, so YOU know what the REAL Rosicrucians believed, and the Rosicrucian orders of today are just posers right? Is that what you are categorically stating? So what makes you so sure that you can discern what is authentic and what is not as opposed to all those posers and fools in the SRIA and AMORC?
The difference is that we have a historical record of Free Masonry from 1717 to the present. We have no such record for Rosicrucianism. And claimants to that heritage have never been able to provide any. If their claims are legitimate, they should be able to adhere to a historical standard; otherwise it's all just speculation.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-26-2009, 08:29 AM
Irishman Irishman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
But their history is occult, which means hidden, so you're not privy to the history. But it's there, really it is, you have to believe me.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:14 AM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
The difference is that we have a historical record of Free Masonry from 1717 to the present. We have no such record for Rosicrucianism. And claimants to that heritage have never been able to provide any. If their claims are legitimate, they should be able to adhere to a historical standard; otherwise it's all just speculation.
Well I don't believe that any institution has an obligation to prove anything about itself to the outside world. But I would say that I agree that it goes without saying that there is no unbroken lineage between them and the original Rosicrucians, partly because we have no idea who the original Rosicrucians even were. But your claims that there isn't even a philosophical link are a bit specious because these people are reading the same texts that you did, and those texts are well known and popularized BECAUSE of SRIA and AMORC. In otherwords you never would have found them if these organizations weren't prominent enough. That's why I find your claims to be a little bit too far reaching.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:50 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
Well I don't believe that any institution has an obligation to prove anything about itself to the outside world.
And here I would disagree with you. If you're going to want me to join a group which supposedly is tied to a 17th century secret organization, you'd better come up with some documentation, or else you're no better than the guy down at the looney bin who says he's the rightful heir to Napoleon's empire.

[qoute] But your claims that there isn't even a philosophical link are a bit specious because these people are reading the same texts that you did, and those texts are well known and popularized BECAUSE of SRIA and AMORC. In otherwords you never would have found them if these organizations weren't prominent enough. That's why I find your claims to be a little bit too far reaching.[/QUOTE]

I don't think you're actually saying that we wouldn't know about these documents had it not been for the SRIA and AMORC. These early works were well known among historians before the SRIA and AMORC were even gleams in their respective creators eyes. In fact, one of my sources says that the early Transactions of the SRIA contained "a complete lack of curiosity about 17th century Rosicrucianism." It was only when MacGregor Mathers introduced the legend into Golden Dawn ritual, filling in holes in the story with his own imagination, that the original documents became a part of the order at all.

These documents did not exist in a vaccum waiting to be "discovered" by later "Rosicrucians." They were well-known by historians of the time and beyond, and not popularized by various occult groups.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-26-2009, 11:09 AM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
And here I would disagree with you. If you're going to want me to join a group which supposedly is tied to a 17th century secret organization, you'd better come up with some documentation, or else you're no better than the guy down at the looney bin who says he's the rightful heir to Napoleon's empire.
Or you just don't join. Rather simple.

Quote:
I don't think you're actually saying that we wouldn't know about these documents had it not been for the SRIA and AMORC. These early works were well known among historians before the SRIA and AMORC were even gleams in their respective creators eyes. In fact, one of my sources says that the early Transactions of the SRIA contained "a complete lack of curiosity about 17th century Rosicrucianism." It was only when MacGregor Mathers introduced the legend into Golden Dawn ritual, filling in holes in the story with his own imagination, that the original documents became a part of the order at all.
I see. And where does this source get his info on the Transactions?

Quote:
These documents did not exist in a vaccum waiting to be "discovered" by later "Rosicrucians." They were well-known by historians of the time and beyond, and not popularized by various occult groups.
I am not saying they did, but there are lots of historical documents that languish in obscurity. If it were not for some more popularized organizations the likelihood that the documents would see the light of day outside of some very obscure historical circles is very low.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-26-2009, 11:54 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
Or you just don't join. Rather simple.
That's exactly my point. You see, here at the SD, we don't just take things on faith. If you're going to claim membership of people like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Bacon et. al. despite the lack of any historical evidence, then you's better be able to back up your claims. Otherwise you just become another version of The DaVinci Code. And if you do it knowingly, it cast doubts on any of the rest of your claims as well.

Quote:
I see. And where does this source get his info on the Transactions?
Wha- huh?? You see to be saying that these modern groups don't need any historical validation to be considered legitimate heirs to the original group (if there ever really was any which is doubtful) and now you want a cite??

Let's just say that he got them from the secret masters of his order and leave it at that. That seems to be a leigitmate point of view around here.

Quote:
I am not saying they did, but there are lots of historical documents that languish in obscurity. If it were not for some more popularized organizations the likelihood that the documents would see the light of day outside of some very obscure historical circles is very low.
And here we will have to agree to disagree. The documents were definitely not obscure or only known by some obscure historical circles. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the SRIA and AMORC distorted their real meanings and their influence on Eurpoean history. But that's another thesis that I haven't entirely worked out yet.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-26-2009, 12:38 PM
APB APB is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,804
Eutychus, what's the evidence that Fludd was 'another Lutheran minister'? And isn't 'Andrade' a rather unconventional spelling?
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:29 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by APB View Post
Eutychus, what's the evidence that Fludd was 'another Lutheran minister'? And isn't 'Andrade' a rather unconventional spelling?
I've always seen it spelled Andreae or Andrae.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:33 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
That's exactly my point. You see, here at the SD, we don't just take things on faith. If you're going to claim membership of people like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Bacon et. al. despite the lack of any historical evidence, then you's better be able to back up your claims. Otherwise you just become another version of The DaVinci Code. And if you do it knowingly, it cast doubts on any of the rest of your claims as well.
Assuming something isn't true just because you can't verify it is just as stupid and ignorant as believing everything you're told. No amount of pretentious appealing to the authority of the SDMB will change that. I'd like to remind you the DaVinci code is drawing from these things as sources and not the other way around.



Quote:
Wha- huh?? You see to be saying that these modern groups don't need any historical validation to be considered legitimate heirs to the original group (if there ever really was any which is doubtful) and now you want a cite??
You are the one arguing a positon. They are not here to make an argument. So yes, the burden of proof is on you. I'm surprised that this is even controversial. But since it is, what do you have to hide? Why does the request for a cite bother you? Since you have the intellectual high ground these simple requests should be easy for you no?


Quote:
Let's just say that he got them from the secret masters of his order and leave it at that. That seems to be a leigitmate point of view around here.
LOL, can't back your shit up so you have to result to personal attacks huh? You're the one who keeps bringing up ascended masters.



Quote:
And here we will have to agree to disagree. The documents were definitely not obscure or only known by some obscure historical circles. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the SRIA and AMORC distorted their real meanings and their influence on Eurpoean history. But that's another thesis that I haven't entirely worked out yet.
Well when you do, get back to me I am interested in reading about it.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-26-2009, 01:44 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
The source was Volume 18 of "Man, Myth and Magic" edited by Richard Cavendish. It doesn't list a specific source, but does give an extensive bibliography of sources.

I'm not assuming something is not true. I can't prove a negative. It may well be true, but it's up to the apologists to prove it IS true. So far, I haven't seen any proof and without evidence I don't automatically believe it's true on "faith." I'm also not going to state that it's true just because they claim it is.

I'm not the one bringing up "ascended masters." The Golden Dawn, AMORC, virtually any modern "Rosicrucian" group does. That's what makes it a legitimate object of investigation; investigation of which shows that their claims just don't hold water.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-26-2009, 02:29 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
The source was Volume 18 of "Man, Myth and Magic" edited by Richard Cavendish. It doesn't list a specific source, but does give an extensive bibliography of sources.
Thanks.

Quote:
I'm not assuming something is not true. I can't prove a negative. It may well be true, but it's up to the apologists to prove it IS true. So far, I haven't seen any proof and without evidence I don't automatically believe it's true on "faith." I'm also not going to state that it's true just because they claim it is.
Well there is this idea that seems to be prevalent that people have a responsibility to prove something to you. They don't necessarily, but if they are trying to convince YOU then they certainly do have an obligation.

Quote:
I'm not the one bringing up "ascended masters." The Golden Dawn, AMORC, virtually any modern "Rosicrucian" group does. That's what makes it a legitimate object of investigation; investigation of which shows that their claims just don't hold water.
Well ascended masters are about as easy to prove as God, so if an ascended master appears to me I'll believe it, if not I won't. But I don't really have a ball in the court otherwise.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-26-2009, 02:43 PM
Eutychus Eutychus is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: On the windowsill
Posts: 7,216
And I think that brings us full circle as far as my report goes. My only real point was ... these groups can claim whatever they like and God bless them. They don't have to justify themselves to me. But as far as writing what is supposed to be a factual report, I have to go with verifiable, substantiated facts, not claims on which our only resort to proof is faith.

APB ... I may have to retract the part about Fludd being a Lutheran minister when I get back from my honemoon. I know I had read that somewhere along the line, but can't find a specific reference right now. Remember, I wroe this piece almost 4 years ago so some of the references escape me right now.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 05-26-2009, 03:13 PM
mswas mswas is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Enjoy your honeymoon.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 05-26-2009, 04:14 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
Enjoy your honeymoon.

Don't put words in the brother's mouth. He's going on his honemoon. It's a rite of manhood handed down from the ascended Bodhisattvas wherein the adherent burns off his former self in the sacred lunar flame and emerges as a pure paradigm of well-honed Cecildom. From thence he shall come to judge all true knowledge, citing the greatest scripture of transconscious knowledge: The World.

Enjoy your honemoon mate. Perhaps one day I shall be worthy.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 05-27-2009, 07:50 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post

3 : Spiritual ancestry doesn't equate to historical ancestry. Just because I am a patriot doesn't make me a member of the pre-Revolutionary War Sons of Liberty than it makes me Joe Lewis. My artcile was about what the Rosicrucians believed. That's what I wrote. Modern "Rosicrucians" are such in name only. Spiritual ancestry as a philosophical standard in this case barely holds water. As a historical standard, it sucks.

Well, perhaps not, but these are two different ends of a spectrum.

It seems fairly clear that even if there was no 'chain of initiation of grand masters' - an AMORC conceit that was picked up by the creators of the Priory of Sion hoax from AMORC pamphlets, by the way - there was still communication down through the years from interested individuals who passed aspects of the tradition on to each other.

Many of these folk, St Martin for example, claimed nothing at all, they didn't head any organisation, bore no illustrious title, and only gave a simple initiation, ie a laying on of hands. But the ideas remain clearly identifiable over the years.

By its very nature, such a 'passing down' is not going to leave much in the way of historical proof.

The modern AMORC organisation and the Beverly Hall R+C organisation of RS Clymer engaged in a very public spat over who had the right to use the name 'Rosicrucian' in the US. Others had quarrelled over this before, but from this feud in particular emerged the idea of an apostolic succession as something up for contention, with one org permitted per country. Albeit both Lewis and Clymer had laughable claims to any such thing.

AMORC, who for whatever reason emerged as the loudest and most public claimant, particularly taught little that I would call Rosicrucian, based on examining their teachings and contrasting with 18th century Rosicrucian documents and the manifestoes themselves.

There isn't much, in fact, there may well be nothing, that you can point to in AMORC teachings and say 'this here is clearly descended from line X of the Fama.'

In fact, AMORC didn't even publish the manifestoes themselves until about fifteen years after HS Lewis started the group. Make of that what you will.

The way AMORC is understood by those in occult movements is as an 'outer order' that provides the basics of initiation.

It raises the Rosicrucian banner in public, so that at least the name is out there for those who want to look, or join. When pressed ,the org will say that they aren't 'the Rosicrucians' as such, they are only 'students of Rosicrucianism'. Albeit they have benefited from clouding that distinction in the name of self-promotion!

However, can you find people who you'd call 'Rosicrucian' (ie, whose activities and ethos conforms to what history understands by the term) within AMORC?

Very definitely. In the 1930s the order was responsible for attracting European alchemists and did groundbreaking work in mineral alchemy such that they had labs and furnaces working round the clock in California, and the Duponts and the like interested. This continued until the 1960s, not always with much enthusiasm from Head Office.

Similar work on Kabbalah and alchemy was done within AMORC's inner Martinist order, the TMO (Traditional Martinist Order) in the 1970s and 80s too.

And that is history.

Ben
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 05-27-2009, 07:55 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post

I'm not the one bringing up "ascended masters." The Golden Dawn, AMORC, virtually any modern "Rosicrucian" group does. That's what makes it a legitimate object of investigation; investigation of which shows that their claims just don't hold water.
Not all do, by any means. The SRIA (by which I mean the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, not the later Societas Rosicruciana in America) has no such teaching that I know. And it is easily one of the oldest groups, and makes only modest claims.

How would investigating ascended masters show that the claims didn't hold water? They'd be kind of incorporeal by definition, wouldn't they ?


Ben
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 05-27-2009, 08:33 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 39,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by scaro View Post
Very definitely. In the 1930s the order was responsible for attracting European alchemists and did groundbreaking work in mineral alchemy such that they had labs and furnaces working round the clock in California, and the Duponts and the like interested. This continued until the 1960s, not always with much enthusiasm from Head Office.

Similar work on Kabbalah and alchemy was done within AMORC's inner Martinist order, the TMO (Traditional Martinist Order) in the 1970s and 80s too.

And that is history.
I would very much like to see cites about this "groundbreaking work in mineral alchemy". Would you mind starting a new thread in the proper forum?
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 05-27-2009, 08:46 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
And here I would disagree with you. If you're going to want me to join a group which supposedly is tied to a 17th century secret organization, you'd better come up with some documentation, or else you're no better than the guy down at the looney bin who says he's the rightful heir to Napoleon's empire.

[qoute] But your claims that there isn't even a philosophical link are a bit specious because these people are reading the same texts that you did, and those texts are well known and popularized BECAUSE of SRIA and AMORC. In otherwords you never would have found them if these organizations weren't prominent enough. That's why I find your claims to be a little bit too far reaching.

I don't think you're actually saying that we wouldn't know about these documents had it not been for the SRIA and AMORC. These early works were well known among historians before the SRIA and AMORC were even gleams in their respective creators eyes. In fact, one of my sources says that the early Transactions of the SRIA contained "a complete lack of curiosity about 17th century Rosicrucianism." It was only when MacGregor Mathers introduced the legend into Golden Dawn ritual, filling in holes in the story with his own imagination, that the original documents became a part of the order at all.

These documents did not exist in a vaccum waiting to be "discovered" by later "Rosicrucians." They were well-known by historians of the time and beyond, and not popularized by various occult groups.


I think there's a general understanding in modern movements that the original Rosicrucians were either incorporeal or more likely, that they were mundane hoaxers who set something in train, at the instigation of (insert whacky theory here).

Nonetheless, by the 18th century, an incredible amount of literature and several societies had gathered about those foundation documents and the ethos in them. Whatever the nature of its origin, by the 18th century there was this definable Rosicrucian 'thing' going on.

Oddly, there is quite a gap between the earliest date of the manifestoes' appearance in draft (1604 - 1610) and the formation of verifiable orgs with signed lists of members, robes, baubles and other Masonic fripperies, c,1710.

There's something just slightly unsatisfactory about the 1610 events, particularly the fact that JV Andreae himself poured scorn on the manifestoes in later life.

This has led many to speculate that there were earlier antecdents- the most popular one - because it contains a symbol that could be called a 'rose cross' and a similar mythos, is Simon Studion's Naometria of 1596, which reports on a convention or event, itself unproven, of 1586 which formed something called the 'Militia Crucifera Evangelica' - not necessarily to be understood as being a particular group that one might join.

So in the occult we don't necessarily set great store by simple historical connection to those original Rosicrucians of 1610, although this may sound odd to the straightforward historian.

But . . . and here's the rub, because the original Rosicrucians aren't around to take the blame, an SRIA which merely set itself up as 'a Rosicrucian study group' or an AMORC which maintains that it has 'students of Rosicrucianism' can, for the sake of brevity, or in the interest of fulminating bombastic claims, step up to the plate and say 'we are the Rosicrucians', as can any one of a number of groups.

It is true that the links of SRIA and AMORC to the historical documents is tenuous. One might even say non-existent. It may not be too cynical to suggest that most R+C orgs were founded by people who wanted to be able to walk around calling themselves Rosicrucians, as a kind of exclusive badge.

Whether either organisation was linked to individuals who did set great store by the documents, and whether these outer groups later came to attract individuals who did take the ethos to heart in a more authentic way, well, that's another matter.

Though the early SRIA didn't have much knowledge of Rosicrucianism, this is not surprising. The Edinburgh ancestor of the SRIA seemingly tottered out of history and promptly expired, having passed on its initiation and the basis of a ritual to Hughan and Little, two Masons from London.

It's no secret that it passed on little else . . . but this modest happenstance does seem somewhat more likely than the grander claims made by the likes of PB Randolph or HS Lewis about initiation into some vast fraternity in Europe.

In Lewis' case it is clear that he had some brush with some occultists in France who he claimed as Rosicrucian, and he reported a 'rare initiation' while in their presence, ie a visionary experience. Now, as unprovable as it is, in a tradition espousing all sorts of mystical events and with invisible masters, is such a thing implausible? Well, from the inside, not in the least.

Ben

Last edited by scaro; 05-27-2009 at 08:47 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 05-27-2009, 08:54 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I would very much like to see cites about this "groundbreaking work in mineral alchemy". Would you mind starting a new thread in the proper forum?
Yeah, certainly. Sorry if I don't know which forum this stuff should be on, but AMORC's work, particularly on reviving alchemy in the 20th century, is common knowledge.

http://www.triad-publishing.com/stone18a.html

http://www.hermeticinstitute.org/docs/alchemy.pdf

Ben
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 05-27-2009, 12:41 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chatham, NJ, USA
Posts: 4,727
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
That's exactly my point. You see, here at the SD, we don't just take things on faith. If you're going to claim membership of people like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Bacon et. al. despite the lack of any historical evidence, then you's better be able to back up your claims. Otherwise you just become another version of The DaVinci Code.
Now, now.... The DaVinci Code is just a bad novel. You mean Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the book of thoroughly fictional non-fiction that Dan Brown either
  • was deceived by, or
  • plagiarized.
__________________
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 05-27-2009, 06:43 PM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
I did post some stuff correcting/commenting on certain aspects of the 'Rosicrucian' entry back in 2007, but it seems to have been missed, presumably in a stampede of 'Rosicrucian' related traffic on the forum ;-)

Anyway, it's here, FWIW:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=437447

The main error is that point about SRIA being linked to the FUDOFSI. There's no link there at all.

Ben

Last edited by scaro; 05-27-2009 at 06:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:23 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
hi getting on for two years now ...

isn't it about time the main article was edited, at least to remove the claimed link between the SRIA and FUDOFSI?

it's nonsense, and i should know. no link between the two whatsoever. we started in 1867, they started in 1939, so how could they have authorised us?

if you want to know about the FUDOFSI, look here:

http://sourceryforge.org/index.php/FUDOFSI

Last edited by scaro; 06-09-2011 at 08:25 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 06-12-2011, 10:52 PM
Rico Rico is offline
Screwing the unscrutable.
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Utah's Dixie
Posts: 4,731
scaro - I've passed your request on to the higher-ups.

Didn't want you to think that the mods here were uncaring, jackbooted thugs.

Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 06-22-2011, 09:40 AM
scaro scaro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico View Post
scaro - I've passed your request on to the higher-ups.

Didn't want you to think that the mods here were uncaring, jackbooted thugs.


You're a gentleman and a scholar.

Here are my list of suggested corrections. All are based on the history, not group vs group oneupmanship or what I was told last night when the Gand Master of the Knights Templar appeared to me in a vision. (By the way, the GM of the KTs did appear to me in a dream, though, and she's hot, 22, and likes getting her clothes off .... but that's for another day.)


Ah, so anyway, getting into it:

Researching the occult is always tricky since you tend to find at least three times as much (oh, let's be dainty, shall we?) bull excrement as you might expect from one bull. Wiccans claim descent from old world matriarchal religions, while some Masonic writers claim direct descent from God. The history of Rosicrucianism is interesting but is often obscured by adherents who claim a much earlier origin than the record supports.
The documented history of Rosicrucianism reaches back no further than the early 1600s, and modern Rosicrucian organizations don't date back anywhere near that far.

The first organisations that we can say existed in any way that would be recognised by a history faculty – excluding ‘channelled research’ and other bits of excitement - were probably the Gold Und Rosenkreuz order which was claimed to exist in 1710 but probably got under way halfway through the 18th century. It did feature an initiation in a church involving cutting of the hair, bloodletting and presentation of the initiate with a portion of the philosopher’s stone. It seems to have been nothing to do with the heavily Masonic style of later Gold Und Rosenkreuz initiation at all, so the link between the org claimed to exist in 1710 and that of the 1750s is questionable.

In 1614 a curious pamphlet entitled the Fama Fraternitatis was published in Cassel, Germany. This wasn't the first appearance of the Fama; reportedly it circulated in manuscript as early as 1610. There is some evidence that the work and some associated pieces were published in order to promote the anti-Jesuit agenda of the publisher, Wilhelm Wessel, but that probably wasn't the intent of the original work.
The Fama tells the story of one Christian Rosencreutz

No it doesn’t. It talks of our ‘Brother CRC’ or ‘Father CRC’ - the name Christian Rosenkreuz does not appear until the third manifesto. Are they the same person? Well, you’d assume it, but some have argued otherwise.

who, as a young man, wandered through the Near East learning the mystical wisdom of the Arabs and Egyptians and finding much enlightenment there. Upon returning to Germany he attempted to share this knowledge but was laughed at and shunned. He and a few like-minded people formed a society called the Fraternity of the Rose Cross, building a temple called the Spiritus Sanctus. There were only eight members at the beginning; all men, all bachelors and all virgins. The agreement among them was simple:
1. They should profess only to be healers and act in that capacity whenever requested for no payment
2. They would have no uniform or habit but would adopt the customs of the country where they lived
3. They would meet once a year at the Spiritus Sanctus, or send a note excusing their absence
4. Each person should find someone to be his successor
5. The letters "C.R" would be their seal and mark, and

No, RC.

6. The fraternity would remain secret for 100 years.
Presumably the Fama was published after the 100 years had elapsed as it goes on to report the discovery of the Spiritus Sanctus and describe the fraternity to the outside world. It doesn't explicitly ask people to join, but says the group's members will be watching for those in tune with their thinking. The last few lines are a bit ominous:
And although at this time we make no mention either of names or meetings, yet nevertheless everyone's opinion shall assuredly come to our hands, in what language so ever it be; nor anybody shall fail, who so gives his name, but to speak with some of us, either by word of mouth, or else, if there be some let, in writing. And this we say for a truth, that whosoever shall earnestly, and from his heart, bear affection unto us, it shall be beneficial to him in goods, body, and soul; but he that is false-hearted, or only greedy of riches, the same first of all shall not be able in any manner of wise to hurt us, but bring himself to utter ruin and destruction.
This was followed in 1615 by another purported Rosicrucian publication, the Confessio Fraternitatis, in the same vein as the first but much more apocalyptic. It told not only of a society that had obtained the secrets of enlightenment, but of a forthcoming reformation of the age, returning it a state of grace:
We ought therefore here to observe well, and make it known unto everyone, that God hath certainly and most assuredly concluded to send and grant to the world before her end, which presently thereupon shall ensue, such a truth, light, life and glory, as the first man Adam had, which he lost in Paradise, after which his successors were put and driven, with him, to misery wherefore there shall cease all servitude, falsehood, lies, and darkness, which by little and little, with the great world's revolution, was crept into all arts, works, and governments of men, and have darkened the most part of them.
A third document appeared in 1616 entitled The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz. This is a highly symbolic treatise following Rosencreutz through a mystical "wedding" that is actually an alchemical allegory. Alchemy is presented not as the physical transformation of base metals into gold, but rather as a spiritual process in which the "base" person is enlightened, turning into spiritual "gold." Most scholars believe the author of this tract to be Johann Valentine Andrade,

Andreae, not ‘Andrade’

a Lutheran minister from Wurttemburg. We know from Andrade's autobiography that he wrote a piece called The Chemical Wedding around 1602-3,

He claimed this - but he was only sixteen years old at the time, so there are doubts.

but since the Wedding cites both the Fama and the Confessio, which didn't appear until later, it's thought the work was updated once the new Rosicrucian documents appeared. Even so Andrade considered it "a fiction, a jest, of little worth."
The authors of the Fama and the Confessio never revealed themselves, and we have no independent evidence that a Fraternity of the Rose Cross ever existed. The simplest explanation is that the whole business was Andrade's invention. Nevertheless the notion of a secret society with occult knowledge found a receptive audience. A few other authors, while denying membership in the society, were sympathetic to its ideals. For example, Robert Fludd, another Lutheran minister, published two books, the Compendious Apology for the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross (1616) and The Apologetic Tractatus for the Society of the Rosy Cross (1617), plus many other works with a Rosicrucian bent.
But that's about as far as it went. Interest in the rosy cross flared briefly and then dwindled away. There have been attempts to show that the "Invisible College" of Rosicrucianism eventually became the Royal Society of London, but the evidence is tenuous at best. Likewise, attempts to show that Rosicrucianism survived as a society past the early 1600s lack any historical basis.

There isn’t any evidence that a society existed in the 1600s at all, quite frankly, given the metaphorical nature of the Manifestoes I wouldn’t count them as evidence for anything you might encounter in the mundane world and which might meet down at the local Scouts Hall. See above for comments about the first thing that history would recognise as a Rosicrucian organisation.

That hasn't stopped some modern organizations from claiming membership in or leadership of the organization, though. Probably the best known group is the Ancient Mystical Order Rosea

usually spelt Rosae or Roseae

Crucis, otherwise known as AMORC, which operates a mail-order mystical school out of San Jose, California. It was founded by H. Spencer Lewis, an acquaintance if not an actual associate of the English occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) and an ex-member of his Ordo Templi Orientalis.


It was the Ordo Templis Orientis and HS Lewis wasn’t a member of Crowley’s OTO. He received a ‘Gage of Amity’ (ie recognition of friendship) from Theodore Reuss in 1920 but never attended any meetings nor so far as we know, acted in any way as a member of Crowley’s order. I believe Crowley may have furnished the documents that Lewis used to impress a meeting where a vote was taken to set up AMORC, and the letters ‘OTO’ are handwritten in a margin on the first announcement of the new group, the ‘Pronunziamento #1’ deposited in the NY Public Library. AMORC now say that document is a forgery - their version does not have the ‘OTO’ annotation, but this seems unlikely. So it looks like the early plans of Lewis were to associate with Crowley but he never pursued this and by 1916 was claiming French authority.


The AMORC claims a history that stretches back to Pharaoh Thutmose III in 1477 BC and apparently includes anyone who used more than 3% of their brain, including Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Pascal, Spinoza, and that great philosopher, Edith Piaf. (What, they couldn't get Zasu Pitts?)
AMORC touts its authenticity by proclaiming it's the only Rosicrucian organization that uses the word "order" in its name and claiming authorization from FUDOSI (the Fédération Universelle Des Ordres Et Sociétés Initiatiques), a sort of clearinghouse of mystical societies. To my mind that's like Clarabelle the Clown being validated by Howdy Doody, but we'll let that pass and trudge on.



Yes, it’s meaningless. What you might call more ‘authentic’ Rosicrucian bodies do not use the name in public at all. They claimed recognition from FUDOSI rather than authorisation but FUDOSI wrapped up in 1951 with a declaration by the European members that AMORC was ‘a pseudo initiatic order’ because of its commercial character and noisy publicity. That remains the view of most in the European orders today. But AMORC has been very successful, no doubt of it.


Many other organizations also call themselves Rosicrucian. In 1858, the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis was founded by Paschal Beverly Randolph after supposedly having been initiated into a German Rosicrucian fraternity.


I think PB Randolph claimed initiation by the ‘Supreme Grand Dome of France or somesuch. I am not familiar with Randolph having a German claim.


It's still extant today and like AMORC provides mail-order spiritual illumination.


PB Randolph’s organisation does not exist today. Its mantle passed to the Temple of the Rosy Cross of Boston and this body recognised the Societas Rosicruciana in America as its legitimate heir in or about 1918. The SRIAmerica still exists today.

A publisher called Reuben Swinburne Clymer who had been a student of the Boston group bought Randolph’s papers from his widow and set up the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis in Beverly Hall, Pennsylvania in 1920. Despite his claim to be Randolph’s successor, he was not. His organisation continues to exist and provides lesson material for a fairly modest fee
.


The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was founded by Robert Wentworth Little and popularized by William Wynn Wescott, both connected with the Golden Dawn ritual magic group.

RW Little founded the SRIA with William James Hughan. Little was not connected to the Golden Dawn. He died in 1878, ten years before the Golden Dawn was formed.


It requires its members to be both Masons and Christians.

Trinitarian Christian. I'm not being picky, it can be a live issue.

Surprisingly enough (or maybe not), it was authorized by FUDOFSI (Fédération Universelle des Ordres, Fraternités et Sociétés Initiatiques), FUDOSI's rival.


No it was not.

SRIA or the Soc Ros in Anglia, commonly known as the ‘Soc Ros’ was given its warrant in Scotland in 1866 by an earlier Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia of which expired shortly after authorising Hughan and Little to create the England society. There is a convergence of lineages around this time in Scotland from Anthony O’Neal Haye and William Henry White, though the official view is that it was O’Neal Haye who gave the warrant to Hughan and Little. There is much speculation about where this Scottish society originated from but for these purposes, the short answer is that we in the Society do not know. It had the same grades as the Gold Und Rosenkreuz, but that may not mean anything - those grades were public knowledge in the period when the Scottish society existed. The SRIA quickly chartered a second Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia which survives today.
These Masonic Rosicrucian groups have no initiatic link to a Societas Rosicruciana in America which came into being in 1909, despite the similar name.

The FUDOFSI was organised as a federation of occult orders in 1939 to counter the FUDOSI of AMORC and other European orders. FUDOFSI was an association of the ‘Orders of Lyon’ which were mainly Martinist and esoteric Masonic groups based in that part of France, the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua of Arnoldo Krum-Heller, based mainly in South America, and the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis of Beverly Hall, PA, led by one Reuben Swinburne Clymer who claimed (wrongly) to be Randolph’s heir. As a Federation it bore no initiatic authority of its own and could not authorise the founding of a distinct Rosicrucian group- though some orders within it may have been able to act in that capacity.

However organisations founded in 1939 do not authorise bodies founded 75 years earlier! – even in the shambles which passes for Rosicrucian history.


Smaller but still recognizable is the Rosicrucian Fellowship founded by Max Heindel in 1907. A largely Christian organization, it has closer ties with theosophy and astrology than with any original Rosicrucian thought.
That's a lot of popularity and advertising for a group which claimed at the end of the Confessio:
Even in such manner, although we might enrich the whole world, and endue them with learning, and might release it from innumerable miseries, yet shall we never be manifested and made known unto any man, without the especial pleasure of God; yea, it shall be so far from him whosoever thinks to get the benefit and be partaker of our riches and knowledge, without and against the will of God, that he shall sooner lose his life in seeking and searching for us, than to find us, and attain to come to the wished happiness of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross."
Sources
For a more in-depth examination of the political and historical background of the original Rosicrucian texts, I highly recommend The Rosicrucian Enlightenment by Frances A. Yates, one of the few books that deals with the subject from a purely historical standpoint. Texts of the Fama, the Confessio and the Chemical Wedding can be found at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/ros/index.htm
Link to AMORC's history page, just so you can see that I wasn't making up the Edith Piaf thing : http://www.rosicrucian.org/about/mas...08history.html
— Euty
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.