History of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis
|In so far as we are able to trace
in the authentic pages of history, Egypt was the birthplace, not of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, but of the Ancient Mysteries
and the Secret Doctrines, which gradually, slowly and almost imperceptibly, throughout the centuries of time, developed a
system which became officially the Fraternity Rosae Crucis in the year 1614. It was Herodotus who claimed that the Egyptians
were the first who distinctly taught the Immortality of the human Soul, not as a Conscious entity, but with the capability
of becoming, or attainting to, such Consciousness.
The Egyptian mysteries of Isis and Osiris were transplanted into Greece by Cadmus and Inachus;
Zoroaster brought them into Persia; Orpheus into Thrace; Melapus into Argo; Trophonious nto Boeotia; Minos into Crete; Cinyras
into Cyprus, and Erechtheus into Athens. By the time of the Nazarene, the Essenian Community was the only Mystery School actively
functioning. The Gnostics, or early Christian Initiates, kept the Mysteries alive after the death of the Nazarene.
it is true that these Secret Mystery Schools of Initiation existed in Egypt, India, Greece, and other countries and while
it is equally certain that these schools had in view the identical ends of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, nevertheless, the Rosicrusians
were unknown before 1614.
Thus, the Rosicrucian Fraternity was not the result of a sudden impulse on the part of any
one individual, whether Paracelsus or Andrea, but was the outgrowth of these Ancient Mysteries, of the work and teachings
of the pre-Rosicrucian Orders such as the early Pythagoreans, Plantonists, Essenes, Cabalists, Gnostics, Magi, and the mediaeval
Alchemists, Hermetists, Occultists and Paracelsians. All who were members of these ancient Mystery Schools, had some part
in the gestation of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis. As such, each of many master initiates either added to or subtracted from,
the philosophy and Arcanum which finally birthed the Rosicrucian Fraternity.
John Trithemius (1462-1516), Henry Cornelius
Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535) and Paracelsus (1493-1541) were the trio of men that became the reformers of Science, Religion
and Medicine of their time. Trithemius laid the structural foundation of the future Fraternity, Agrippa continued the work
where Trithemius left off, and Paracelsus forged the final product of what in the future was to be the Fraternity Rosae Crucis.
aka Father Christian Rosenkreutz, is known as the “Father of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis” as he harmonized all
of the many Secret Schools active during the previous centuries together into the pre-Rosicrusian “Confederation of
Initiates.” Furthermore, it was he who authored the original draft of the Fama Fraternitas which was not published until
1614. This Confederation finally crystallized into the Fraternity Rosae Crucis in 1614, 73 years after the death of Paracelsus.
Initiates who were interested in the consolidation of the Initiates of all the Arcane Schools into one supreme unit became
members of the “World Council” of the Confederation of Initiates. Initiates of all schools in all countries belonged
to this loosely joined Confederation and included such names as Aegidius Gutmann, Valentine Weigel, Simon Studion, Jean Braccesco,
Dennis Zachaire, Thomac Charnock, John Fountaine, Alexander von Suchten, Nicholas Bernaud, Julius Sperber, and Henry Khunrath.
individuals composed the original “co-founders” of the newly formed Fraternity Rosae Crucis: Berigard of Pisa
(France, 1567-1664) John Baptista van Helmont (Belguim, 1557-1644), Jean D’Aspagnet (France, 1566-1630), Michael Maier
(Germany,1568-1622), Robert Fludd (England, 1574-1637), Henricus Madathanas (Germany, 1575-1639) and John Valentine Andrae
(Germany, 1586-1654). Michael Maier became the first Supreme Grand Master of the newly formed Fraternity Rosae Crucis and
maintained this position until his death. John Valentine Andrae, was chosen the “spokesman” for the newly formed
Fraternity Rosae Crucis and thus edited and published the Fama Fraternitas et Confessio Fratrum Rosae Crucis in Germany, December,
1614. The Fama was subsequently republished in English in 1652 by Eugenius Philalethes titled “Discovery of the Fraternity
of the Most Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross.” The Fraternity grew and flourished throughout Europe and other countries
such as Russia.
The first American Great Council of the August Fraternity was held in Philadelphia in 1772.
Many of the founding fathers of the American Revolution were members of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis as the ideal of freedom
from tyranny in order to pursue one’s spiritual vocation was and is a paramount fundamental tenet of the Fraternity.
In 1774, the great Council of Three (the Fraternity's ultimate governing body) was composed of Benjamin Franklin, George Clymer and Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine was later succeeded by Lafayette, who, like Benjamin Franklin, was a member of the Paris Rosicrucian lodge “Humanidad.” In 1842, the Great Council
of Three was revitalized by the novelist, George Lippard.
During the period between 1854 and 1856, it was decided by
Count Guinotti and the World Council of the Fraternity, then sitting in Paris, that the time had come for a division of authority;
the establishment of a Supreme Grand Master for Europe (England not included) and one for the Western World. Thus in 1858
the Supreme Grand Dome of the Fraternity met in Paris where Dr. Paschel Beverly Randolph was inducted into his office as the first Supreme Grand Master of the Fraternitas Rosę Crucis for the Western World (North,
Central and South America) and the Isles of the Sea. During the Civil War the Council of Three was composed of Dr. Randolph,
General Ethan Allen Hitchcock and Abraham Lincoln. The need for a visible organization was due to what they saw as the rise
of fraudulent Rosicrucian organizations in the country.
In 1871 Dr. Randolph selected Freeman B. Dowd to be his successor and after Randolph’s death in 1875, Mr. Dowd assumed his position as the second Supreme Grand Master
of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis for the Western World. Under Mr. Dowd, James R. Phelps, M.D. (member of the Council of Three
and Grand Master, Illuminatae Americanae) and the initiate Sorona performed the majority of the instruction and training
of the neophytes. Edward Brown was one of these acolytes and was instructed under the wise guidance of Sorona. Mr. Dowd quickly recognized Edward Brown’s
innate abilities and spiritual qualities and selected him to succeed him. Due to age and infirmary, on April 12, 1907 Dowd
resigned his position and on April 15, 1907 Edward Brown became the third Supreme Grand Master of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis
for the Western World with the title Supreme Grand Master, Temple of the Rosy Cross and Hierarch of Imperial Eulis. Mr. Brown
held this position until his death in 1922.
During this same time period, Reuben Swinburne Clymer, M.D. was accepted as a neophyte under the authority of Freeman B. Dowd in 1897. He was instructed and guided by James R. Phelps
and was then accepted as of the first degree in November, 1899. Still under the Fraternal authority of Dowd, he was inducted
into the office of Grand Master of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis in 1905. He was then chosen as the Supreme Grand Master of
the Aeth Priesthood in 1907.
During the time of Dowd, the Fraternity Rosae Crucis was composed of several different
“sub” Orders and Societies all functioning in harmony with the ultimate authority of the Supreme Grand Master
of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis for the Western World. These included the Order of the Illuminati (Dr. Phelps was the Grand
Master), Order of Melchizadek, Priesthood of Aeth, Ancient Order of the Magi, Sons of Isis and Osiris, Rosicrucian Brotherhood,
Rosicrusian Order, Secret Scools, Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Elphantes, and Atlantis. During this same time period, “copy-cat”
organizations began to arise without any connection to the Fraternity Rosae Crucis but plagiarizing the names of these individual
Orders and Societies. It was decided by the Brethren in both Europe, Central and South America and North America that an outer
association was required to protect these already established legitimate bodies.
Consequently, under the Fraternal
authority of Mr. Down and then Mr. Brown, Dr. Clymer began the process of bringing together all of “sub” Allied
Orders and Societies of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis. This process began in 1902 and in 1908-1909 these varied Orders and Societies
of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis consolidated together under the umbrella appellate The Royal Fraternity Association. Furthermore,
in 1908 he obtained land in Quakertown, PA which was to become both the Shrine and future headquarters of the Fraternity.
In 1910 the building known as “Beverly Hall” was built and the Chapel followed in 1911-1912. The first Convocation
was held in June, 1911 on Beverly Hall premises. After Edward Brown made his transition from this earth on May 11, 1922, he
named Dr. Clymer as his successor and he held the position of Supreme Grand Master of the Fraternity Rosae Crucis until his
death in 1966.
In 1929 the Royal Fraternity Association became the Universal Confederation of Initiates and was duly
registered in Pennsylvania on July 24, 1929 as the Confederation of Initiates. From 1929 to 1938 the Supreme officers of all
the legitimate organizations based on the Arcane were busily engaged in the formation of plans, the writing of a FAMA and
agreeing upon the methods of procedure to unite all of the World’s Orders that were legitimately associated with Fraternity
Rosae Crucis. Finally, on March 20th, 1939, in Paris, France, this work was completed and a Constitution was ratified as La Federation Universelle des Ordes, Societes et Fraternites des Inities or The Universal Confederation of Orders, Societies and Fraternities of Initiates and so registered in every country
in which legitimate member organizations were active. It was at this time that Dr. Clymer was presented with many ancient
books, manuscripts and records of the Fraternity prior to the Nazi invasion in which the libraries were decimated and the
Fraternity leaders executed.
The Fraternity Rosae Crucis continues is this form to the present day. It has no association
with any other "Rosicrucian" Order or organization who use this name.
The following texts provide further details on the history and authenticity of the Fraternity
Rosae Crucis currently headquartered in Quakertown, PA.
The Book of Rosicruciae(In three volumes)
by Dr. R. S. Clymer
The history, philosophy, and symbolism of the Rosicrucian movement through the centuries are given
in this series, together with biographies of great Alchemists and Hermeticists. The benevolence of the Fraternal ideals and
the individuals who loved and exemplified them are inspiring.
853 pages, three volumes
The Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis
By Dr. R. S. Clymer
When and where did
the Fraternity of the Rose Cross have its beginning? By whom was it originated? Was it always the Rosicrucian Fraternity?
Or does it owe its existence to older organizations? These are among the questions answered in detail as the Fraternity's
Hermetic and Alchemic traditions are highlighted.
The Rose Cross Order
By Dr. R. S. Clymer
Differences between the works
of Aleister Crowley, a well known black magician of the early twentieth century, and the Rose Cross are compared. The book
also covers the court litigation between the Fraternity and H. Spencer Lewis, founder of A.M.O.R.C. in California.
Some Vital Information
for Your Spiritual Future
As one looking for information
on the revered and venerated ancient Order of the Rosicrucians, we felt certain that you would find the following short history of this Order and its modern representation
The original name of this Order was and is The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis. It was first instituted
in Germany in 1614 and brought together into one organization the various associations of individuals known as the Gnostics,
Paracelsians, Pythagoreans, Platonists, Hermetists, Alchemists and Magi. Since its inception it has been devoted to one objective
and one objective only–The Process of the Spiritualization of the Individual.
The Order was from its beginning a Sub Rosa organization. It remained as such until the early part of
the twentieth century when it was forced to come out from "under the rose" to defend itself from spurious organizations that
attempted to usurp the name Rosicrucian for less
than spiritual or humanitarian purposes. Litigation was brought against the pretenders and they were forced to admit to all
that they were "not a religious organization." The Beverly Hall Corporation, the legal entity that manages the affairs of The
Fraternitas Rosę Crucis (under its four-hundred-year-old landmarks, The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis must remain purely
Spiritual in nature and therefore is not allowed to register as a legal entity), is a religious organization and by the rigid
standards of the Internal Revenue Service is determined
to be a tax-exempt church.
In order to prevent such counterfeits in the future
it was determined by the Great Councils of the
Order that a physical home for The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis and its allied orders should be established in the Northeastern part of the United States of America. This
was done some eighty-five years ago and this center, Beverly Hall, now consists of thirty-seven buildings and nearly three hundred acres of land in picturesque upper
Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Many of these structures can be seen on this website and consist of various Temples for the Orders
that now comprise The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis,
a Grand Hall for the Knights of Chivalry Order,
a new Magi Memorial Temple, the Philosophical Publishing Company building, a modern audio-video production
studio and editing center, two medical Healing Research Centers, pyramids geographically related to those at Giza in Egypt, several facilities for student members to stay while
attending the various instructional sessions held at Beverly Hall, similar live-in facilities for patients who come from all
over the world to be treated at the healing centers, and finally, residences for our many co-workers.
Once Beverly Hall was fully implemented, there were
no further challenges to The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis until late in the last century when it became necessary to expel four Fraternity members, two in the USA and
two in Chile, for treasonous activities. This was the first time in the long unblemished history of the Order that such serious
actions were necessary. Unfortunately, these banished individuals–without shame or regard for their sacred vows to the
Order or their Soul–refused to return to The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis the private lessons, books and other materials that belonged to the Order, but which had been lent
to them to use only while they were members of the Order in good standing.
We now find that these individuals are attempting
to sell these contraband lessons over the Internet and by various other means of dissemination. The nature of these lessons
and instruction is such that they are not only useless to those who are not under the careful guidance of a legitimate arcane teacher of The
Fraternitas Rosę Crucis, but can actually be harmful without this guidance. These
would-be spiritual merchants are like the legendary Sorcerer's Apprentice in that they have just enough knowledge of the Great Work to get themselves, and all who might fall
into their web, into situations that can create severe jeopardy to both body and soul.
In this day and age it is easy to produce a seductive,
professional looking web site that has all the outer appearance of authenticity, but that has no connection to the legitimate
Order described above. However, the thoughtful and insightful seeker after spiritual truth is readily able to discern the
diamond from the paste by comparing these attempts to confuse and defraud to the following facts:
1. The world center for the authentic Fraternitas Rosę Crucis is now centered in Quakertown,
PA, USA. All the precious documents of the various Orders in other countries were brought to the United States by Dr. R. Swinburne
Clymer just prior to the hostilities of World War II. They now reside in secret vaults on the grounds of Beverly Hall in Quakertown.
World War II and the demise of the European Orders, all authority for the activities of the legitimate Fraternitas Rosę Crucis was likewise transferred to The See at Beverly Hall in Quakertown, PA. Since America
is to be the center of the New Order of the Ages
it is obvious that this land will also be the center from whence all Spiritual wisdom and knowledge will come from as well.
3. This worldwide Order is overseen by various Grand
Councils with an individual traditionally known as the Supreme Grand Master as the head over all. The Supreme Court of the United States in case number 97-211 (10/14/97) upheld the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit attesting to the fact that the present Supreme Grand Master, and no other, is the only legitimate individual
who may lay claim to this office as the official head of the Fraternitas Rosę Crucis and all its many allied Orders. The various spurious groups on the web who claim similar authority
are only vaporware with no valid or legal substantiation except the sound of their own voice.
4. For the last hundred-plus years all the advanced
spiritual training given to students of the Great Work is mandated to be given by the authentic Supreme Grand Master. He, and only he, has been carefully and personally
trained by his predecessor for this imposing task.
5. The Fraternitas Rosę Crucis and Beverly Hall are physical
entities–not virtual, web-only entities. They comprise nearly three hundred acres and thirty-seven buildings and are
constantly expanding. We are told that some pretenders have photos on the web of buildings and meeting rooms that do not exist.
Any sincere seeker after truth is always welcome to visit us and see for himself. You need only to call 1-215-536-7048 in
advance for an appointment. None of the want-to-be's dare make this offer. Come and see the truth for yourself.
6. The authentic Fraternitas Rosę Crucis has never requested dues or ongoing payment
from its students. The student pays a modest scholarship fee (which barely covers a lifetime of postage) when applying and
that is all. Even this fee may be paid in small monthly installments without carrying charges.
7. The authentic Fraternitas Rosę Crucis never attempts to establish a "cult of the
individual." The student is never encouraged or forced to vow allegiance to any individual or personality. Just the opposite.
The student is taught to show allegiance only to God, his Immortal Soul and his vow to protect the property lent to him by
the Grand Fraternity.
8. In the authentic Fraternitas Rosę Crucis the student is encouraged to develop all
his talents and spiritual abilities to the fullest. In the counterfeit organizations the student is frequently thwarted by
the organizer for fear that he, the student, may advance further than this leader, and thus become a rival–both temporal
and spiritual. To accomplish this end the bogus leader frequently uses fear, in its multitude of subtle aspects, to control
and stymie the growth of his more accomplished students.
its ancient landmarks the authentic Fraternitas Rosę Crucis is never allowed to actively proselytize or advertise for students. It may legitimately make the principles
and tenets of the Order known through its books and dignified statements, such as this website, but no more. The ancient Law
is, “Those who know do not talk, those who talk do not know.”
10. The authentic
Fraternitas Rosę Crucis has published hundreds of outer public texts for the edification
of the general public. As you can see from our website's book list these are still available to those who may be interested.
In America alone this publishing of guides and textbooks by our Order has been continued for over one hundred and fifty years.
No counterfeit organization can even come close to making this statement.
Creator and Creation Are One
In their instructions the Occult Initiates protect their knowledge and secret teachings from the profane by means of
allegorical language and the use of symbols, leaving their veritable meaning to be divined by the really sincere student with
the help of an insight imparted from the developed subconsciously within. They likewise perpetuate their secrets by means
of the Initiation of tested disciples of unquestioned discretion, to whom they liberally lay open the treasures of their accumulated
Seeing that the Creator of all beings, before the foundation of the world and before ever they were brought forth, had
and contained the same in his mind and Wisdom even the little world, man the Microcosm, as well as the greater world, the
Macrocosm, according to the testimony of sacred writings, must not then the world, which is the greater, as well as the lesser,
which is man, have their Creator as their original and beginning within themselves, so that neither the Creator nor
His creature are separate from each other? Seeing, then, that it cannot be said that perfection is attained before the end
has reached its beginning and the beginning united itself with the end in sequence to a new birth and production, the question
is whether both the greater and the lesser world, in order to reach perfection, must no in al their workings aim at this,
that they may return to their beginnings to be united with them?
All the creatures of God, for their melioration and glorification, stand in an endless evolution on the path to perfection
and must be known and comprehended. A thing cannot be known otherwise than by its end and operation or out-working, as a tree
by its fruits, and that the lesser world is the end and comprisal of all creatures and works of god and consequently an outbirth
of the great world or Macrocosm wherein all other creatures are comprised. The question, then, is whether there can be any
other way by which man may attain to a right knowledge of the great world, with and in all its parts, than in and out of
himself? Man, as in the end and abridgement of all things, the Beginning has manifested itself, for the End is nothing
but the Beginning wrought out and the start of something still greater; that is, displaying into act and manifested,
so that the End is hidden in the Beginning as the Beginning is manifested in the End. As a consequence of this, both the worlds
have a great affinity and perfect likeness, yea, and unity one with the other, and they must be wrought out with one
another and thereby reach their highest perfection.
We do not deny that many of those who become interested in Alchemical science did so because of Material gain, but it
is clearly indicated that their labors were overshadowed by the portents of a higher achievement and that even their works
read obviously in two ways, literally and transliterally; so also their operations had two objects, and both of these objects
were pursued from the first beginning of the science, and this is both just and right. Physical gain may be our vocation,
while spiritual development be the avocation; there is nothing inimical in this.
The Law of Nature Is Also the Law of Man
The spiritual interpretation was not an afterthought, not was the spiritual search an aftergrowth. The arcane knowledge
in both instances preceded the arcane literature. The secrets of the ancient Sanctuaries and of the Holy Assemblies, as the
Holy of Holies of the Initiates was known, embraced both the physical and the transcendental. It was known that one law variously
applied obtained in all departments of Nature as regards the development of species and of the potential energies in all
Their acquaintance with the Law enabled the Initiates to develop the latent possibilities of the mineral world, which
possibilities resided not in the different species, but in the common elements, and so chemistry was born. Their acquaintance
with the identical law also enabled them to elaborate the transcendental potencies in man. Thus Initiation and Soul Consciousness
became possible. In the vulgar parlance, they could transmute metals, and they could likewise transmute or transfigure humanity.