Robert Vanloo: A.M.O.R.C. and the O.T.O. - Controversy around a document

Controversy around a document©

Is the A.M.O.R.C. an offspring of the O.T.O. or not ?

by Robert Vanloo, BA

The discovery of the first document concerning the origins of A.M.O.R.C.

In my book entitled Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde1, dealing with the conditions of foundation of modern Rosicrucian groups in America, I have reproduced in «appendix I» a document which had been long dormant on the shelves of the New York Public Library, the town where Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883- 1939) established the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis during the spring of 1915.

This document, which had remained unpublished even by A.M.O.R.C. up to then, and was also ignored by Lewis’ most notorious opponent Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966),2 is listed in the Dictionary Catalog through 1971, vol. 433, p. 170, of the N.Y.P.L. under the mark «*Z-1679»:

«History of the Rosicrucian Order: original documents with annotations by the Grand Master General H. Spencer Lewis. (New York) 1915. 1 v. 34cm - Film reproduction - Positive - Mounted newspaper clippings, announcements, etc.»

Folder covering page

It is made of a large folio containing diverse documents in relationship with the history of the birth of A.M.O.R.C. in America, the covering handwritten page specifying that they consist of «Original Documents with Annotations by the Grand Master General, H. Spencer Lewis, A.D.° 1915» such as:

  1. A mounted newspaper clipping with the title: «Oldest fraternal society in world to have branch here – Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosaea Crucis to Have American Lodge – Men and Women on Equal Footing – Cross Used Said to Antedate Christian Symbol by 1,700 Years – Many Distinguished Members» presented by Lewis as follows: «The first public announcement for the American Order. Appeared in the «Globe» of February 24th 1915, exclusively by special arrangements».

  2. A clipped Pronunziamento entitled «American Pronunziamento Number One», with the underside of this manuscript annotated by Lewis: «The first American Manifesto issued as a result of an organization meeting held in New York 80 Fifth Avenue on Monday Evening February 8th, at from 8:30 to 9:40 o’clock».

  3. «The first American prospectus, issued February 1915», a propaganda printed document clipped on a larger leaf on which two original symbols appear accompanied by the following manuscipt comment by Lewis: 1) «The Seal and Emblem of the American Grand Lodge, as first used on stationery»  2) «This Seal of the R+C ORDER in America (authentic) as first used on stationery».

  4. Another printed document with the name and address of the first «National Officers» of A.M.O.R.C. (Grand Master General: H. Spencer Lewis, F.R.C.  Deputy Master General: Nicholas Storm, K.R.C.  Matre: May Banks-Stacey, S.R.C.  Secretary General: Thor Kiimalehto, K.R.C.  Treasurer General: D. Jerrold Loria, K.R.C.  Chaplain: Solon Fieldman, K.R.C.) with the following annotation by Lewis: «Folder of the Supreme Council and Grand Lodge, issued after the first Initiations of members in America, May 13th 1915».

The folder is accompanied by a manuscript letter signed «H. Spencer Lewis» and addressed to the N.Y. Public Library, dated «March 19-15», in which he explains that he «donates the enclosed as a contribution to the literature» that the N.Y.P.L. has already on the subject.3

Lewis’ accompanying letter

The pieces contained in the folder are very important because they constitute the first public documents known concerning the existence of A.M.O.R.C. in America. In this respect the American Pronunziamento Number One is essential in order to understand the conditions in which A.M.O.R.C. was established. The work of calligraphy for the main text is probably by Lewis himself, who had gained some experience in graphic arts from his father.4 To the beautifully and carefully drawn text is added in another type of characters the sentence: «Magna est veritas, et prevalebit». Here again the writing seems to be by Lewis, as it is similar to the one in the annotations. At the bottom of the Pronunziamento there is a signature by «Thor Kiimalehto, Sec’y», the writing being thinner and more animated than Lewis’ writing. On the document itself - after the sentence where it is said that A.M.O.R.C. shall be established «in accordance with an official manifesto» - a manuscript annotation «O.T.O.» has been added  with a writing similar to Kiimalehto’s signature beneath.

This handwritten annotation tends to prove that there existed some sort of relationship between H. Spencer Lewis and O.T.O. prior to 1921, when the founder of A.M.O.R.C. received an official charter from Theodor Reuss making him «a Honorary Member of the Sovereign Sanctuary for Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and to represent O.T.O. Sovereign Sanctuary as Gage of Amity near the Supreme Council of A.M.O.R.C.».5

The nature of the controversy

The relationship between Lewis and Theodor Reuss (1855-1923) is well known. The history of O.T.O. having been largely described elsewhere, we shall not go into details on this subject.6 It is just worth remembering that O.T.O. was the conception of Theodor Reuss, who had himself been inspired by the teachings of Carl Kellner (1850-1905), a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, and that the first O.T.O. Constitution was finalized in 1906, even if the Order was not really operative at once. In his White Book D – Audi Alteram Partem (1935), which constitutes the answer of A.M.O.R.C. to the so-called «plot» of its opponents of the time, Lewis states under the cover of his «National Membership Defense Committee» that:

«The commitee has seen indisputable evidence (...) to the effect that the Order of the Oriental Temple was affiliated with the genuine Rosicrucian organization as far back as the Seventeenth Century in Europe and in 1895 John Yarker, eminent Masonic historian in London was Supreme Magus of the O.T.O. Theodor Reuss - (Willsson) – «Peregrinus» - was the elected successor to Yarker. It has seen records of a convention of the O.T.O. held in Europe in 1906 and 1908, and it has seen a copy of the Constitution of the O.T.O. published in Austria and Germany in 1907, proving that the organization was a large one before 1911. It has seen evidence to prove that charter granted to H. Spencer Lewis in the name of tbe O.T.O. was not granted by Crowley, but by the wellknown European mystic, Magus Theodor Reuss-Willsson of Munich, whose Latin official name is known all over Europe as «Peregrinus».7

Of course, Yarker was never directly associated with the foundation of the O.T.O., which was still in 1911 rather confidential and had nothing in common with the «genuine Rosicrucian organization» of the 17th century. As there is no evidence of a relationship between Lewis and Reuss before 1920, the question is immediately raised about what other contact Lewis might have had with O.T.O. prior to this date.

When this Pronunziamento from the N.Y.P.L. was published in my book, the authorities of A.M.O.R.C. immediately informed their members that this was a false document and that they did own the «true» original, which of course does not have the «O.T.O» manuscript annotation on it. In a letter dated February 22nd, 1999 to Peter-R. König, A.M.O.R.C. states that:

«An unbiased study (sic) of this document shows it has been forged (...) the letters "O.T.O." have been roughly added so as to let people think O.T.O. to be the originator of A.M.O.R.C. The letters "O.T.O." have been written, in this document, in a part the role of which is quite obviously and solely destined to the presentation of said pronunziamento. Here, it's a matter of coarse forgery. We ignore when and by whom this document deposited in the New York Public Library may have been forged this way. Whatever may be the answer, you ought to know this document is not an "original" and that the Supreme Grand Lodge of A.M.O.R.C. has an original (See photocopy included), an unforged one, contrary to the one you exhibit. The original document from the Supreme Grand Lodge of A.M.O.R.C. (126x203mm, linen style paper, about 130gr/m2, grey-green as to the color), does not refer to O.T.O. Moreover, how could we think O.T.O. to be the originator of A.M.O.R.C. since the relationship between H. Spencer Lewis and Theodor Reuss only started at the end of year 1920. Furthermore, in the documents (for instance, the minutes of the meetings which prepared the birth of the Order - and which had as one of their consequence the above mentioned Pronunziamento; the minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Council), we find absolutely no reference to O.T.O. or to Theodor Reuss.»8

I consider these remarks to be largely unjustified when A.M.O.R.C. claims on three occasions that the Pronunziamento in N.Y.P.L. is a mere «forgery». It should be first noticed that the N.Y.P.L. no longer possesses this folder in a paper form: the N.Y.P.L. informed me that the folder had been microfilmed during the fifties or the early sixties as there were too many books and documents in the Library. So at least the author of these lines will not be accused by A.M.O.R.C. of having «forged» himself the debated document...

The Manifesto in the NYPL (clipped on a larger sheet) with the annotation by Lewis underneath

The Manifesto shown by A.M.O.R.C.

Nevertheless the microfilm is precise enough to reveal that the Pronunziamento in the folder has the same aspect than the one described supra by A.M.O.R.C. The charter at the N.Y.P.L. is a document that has been clipped on a larger page of 34 cm, under which Lewis wrote beneath a manuscript annotation. It is made of a «linen style paper» also, as it may be seen from the reproduction herewith. The background calligraphy together with the mention «Magna est veritas, et prevalebit» is exactly the same in both documents. Then one might infer that Lewis made a photostat or a photographic reproduction of the original document on this special linen style paper, unless the two Pronunziamento were copied by hand.9 But there is a main difference between the N.Y.P.L. Pronunziamento and the A.M.O.R.C. Pronunziamento: the first one shows Thor Kiimalheto’s signature, and the second in possession by A.M.O.R.C. does not.

This fact is important because the manuscript annotation «O.T.O.» seems to be also of Kiimalehto’s hand: the thickness of the stroke is the same and the way the «O» in «O.T.O.» is written is similar to the «o» appearing in the signature. So we think that this document is well «the» original, and that the «O.T.O» annotation was added by Kiimalehto in February 1915 when he signed the Pronunziamento.

The other argument of A.M.O.R.C. is that «the letters O.T.O. have been written (...) in a part the role of which is quite obviously and solely destined to the presentation of said pronunziamento». This might seem rather odd indeed. In order then to understand the reason and the significance of the letters «O.T.O» in such a place, we have first to refer back to the situation of Lewis in winter and spring 1915 when he gave birth to A.M.O.R.C..10

The stages of the foundation of A.M.O.R.C. in America

The chronology of events that led to the birth of A.M.O.R.C. in 1915 is precisely as follows:

On December 20th, 1914 Lewis made a preliminary announcement and placed a small notice in the «Personal Column of the New York Sunday Herald» saying that he would be pleased to hear from people «interested in Rosicrucianism». It was followed by an organization meeting held in New York on February 8th 1915 in the presence of Thor Kiimalheto, a printer who had been among the first ones to reply to the annoucement and appointed by Lewis as the «Supreme Secretary General». The American Rosae Crucis relates the event this way:

«The preliminary meeting was held on February 8th in my offices, at 8.30 p.m. I find in my records the following entry regarding that meeting: «Meeting was called to order at 8:32 at 80 Fifth Avenue. There were 9 present. The Moon was in Sagittarius. Adjourned at 9:40 p. m.» A paper and some insignia and other interesting exhibits including the Charter and «Black Book» were submitted to those present, and after a brief description of the aims and purposes of the Order, the nine men and women were made a Committee to organize a Supreme Council for America.»11

This text clearly explains how the founder of A.M.O.R.C. submitted to those present during the above said meeting some documents, especially a «Charter» and a mysterious «Black Book», together with «a paper» and «some insignia». The same text even gives on the previous page a short description of the Charter and the Black Book, which seem to have been ready as soon as 1913, because Lewis says :

«During 1913 I was devoted to the preparation of the necessary «first papers,» by the large, illuminated Charter to be signed by the selected Councilors, and the first «Black Book» which I had to design, letter and bind myself, not being permitted to have any matter pass from my hands before the Order was established.»12

First, it should be first noticed that there seems to be an obvious link between the Black Book and the Charter. In fact Lewis makes clear that all those desiring to affiliate with A.M.O.R.C. have to sign first an «application for membership» and then «the Preliminary Oath in the Official Black Book».13 Then we are told by Lewis further in the text that he misinterpreted his «instructions» for the birth of A.M.O.R.C. as being: «between December 15th and Easter of 1913-1914 instead of 1914-1915». According to this he held «a preliminary meeting during the winter of 1913-1914» where he was «surprised to find no enthusiasm and little interest» and he wended his way home with his «papers, Charter and Black Book» under his arm, «dejected and puzzled» because «of the twelve who had assembled» out of the twenty people invited from the New York Institute for Psychic Research « not even one signed the preliminary organization paper».14

We see that in both cases, either in 1913-14 or 1914-15, Lewis intended to proceed the same way : first he wanted to have someone to sign during the «preliminary meeting» a document which he calls a «preliminary organization paper», then at a further stage he intended to present the Charter «to be signed by the selected Councilors». But the preliminary meeting of 1913-14 was a failure as nobody wanted to sign the first organization paper.

Nevertheless «by the fall of 1914» there came to Lewis «a grand old lady who had been a deep student of the occult for years (...) Being of royal descent and intimately acquainted with governmental and military authorities here and abroad, she had been entrusted with a special errand and mission connected with the Order».15 Mrs. Col. May Banks-Stacey, as it appears to be her name, placed in Lewis’ hands on the date of his birthday – that is November 25th, 1914 – few papers, a small packet and – a beautiful red rose!» Lewis comments:

«The papers I found to be some of those which the Masters had explained to me in Europe in 1909 and which were promised to come to me when I needed them most, by special messenger. The packet contained a seal and an insignia. I was pleased, astounded and now greatly fortified for my work.»16

In a brochure published in 1927-28 Lewis makes of Mrs. Bank-Stacey a «special Legate of the Order in India»who:

«Brought to Dr. Lewis and the foundation Committee the final papers of preparation for the greatwork, and the Jewel of Authority, a rare official emblem, and valuable treasures from the archives of the Oriental headquarters. During her stay in New York she acted as the first Matre of the Order.»17

Soon afterwards Lewis placed his announcement in the Sunday Herald and then he held his meeting of February 8th, 1915 where he presented again his Charter, Black Book, paper and documents to the participants. This time the meeting was a success: what made the difference with the failure just a year ago? It seems almost certain that the documents presented at this other meeting were of such a nature to carry the agreement of those taking part in the reunion. That is to say they were probably some documents of filiation or authority which Lewis was not able to produce before. Anyhow, the illuminated Charter «declaring the authoritative, proper and legal establishment of the A.M.O.R.C. in America» was not signed during this meeting, but only a few weeks later when «thirty of the most active workers met (...) and constituted themselves the Supreme Council.»18 The document signed during the meeting of February 8th was just the preliminary organization, that is to say the American Pronunziamento Number One.

Significance of the American Pronunziamento Number One

The above said Charter, which of course could not be part of the dossier transmitted by Lewis to the N.Y.P.L. on March, because it was only signed on April 1st, 1915 has been reproduced by AMORC in a brochure called Rosicrucian Documents. It says:

«In meeting duly assembled we, the undersigned Ladies and Gentlemen of New York City, were formally constituted members of the Supreme American Council of the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rose Cross in accordance with the Ancient Rites and Ceremonies, under the direction and approval of the Most Worshipful Grand Master General of America. Therefore be it known that we hereby proclaim the establishment of the Rosicrucian Order in America and recognize such Officers of its Grand Lodge as are hereunto subscribed as being duly appointed in conformity with the First American Manifesto.»19

It shall be noticed that in this Charter «destined to be a famous document in American history»20 the Grand Master General Lewis clearly says that Grand Lodge officers have been appointed in conformity with the First American Manifesto, in other words the American Pronunziamento Number One, which Lewis also presents as the First American Manifesto in his annotation. So there seems to exist an obvious link between the Charter and the preliminary organization Pronunziamento issued in February, particularly as regards the question of authority for the appointement of the first Grand Lodge Officers, such as the Grand Master General, Secretary General, etc.21 The Pronunziamento says :

«In this year of 1915 (=7) there shall established in the United States of America the Fraternity of the Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosae Crucis in accordance with an official Manifesto. »

How this laconic text could be referred to as a document of authority ? It is clear that the Pronunziamento or Manifesto is not per se a document of authority. But it makes reference to another «official Manifesto». So one immediately wonders of which Manifesto it is question here. Does this refer to the illuminated Charter signed in April by the selected Councilors?

This hypothesis seems very improbable as this Charter sends apparently back to the preliminary Pronunziamento for the question of authority. So it rather seems to refer to an other official document granted to Lewis by an external authority. But there is no clue in the Pronunziamento concerning the precise name of this «other » authority.

It is then quite possible that, during the preliminary meeting of February 8th, 1915 there might have been a discussion between the nine people who had assembled and Lewis on the question of his rosicrucian background and qualifications to establish AMORC in America. And Lewis might have explained about his relationship with some officers of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Even perhaps he presented a document of filiation, unless he promised of delivering one as soon as possible. And the participants then asked the new Secretary General Thor Kiimalehto to put down the name of this authority on the Pronunziamento - remember that some of them were Freemasons for whom the question of filiation is particularly important - hence the «O.T.O. » manuscript annotation by Kiimalheto when he signed the Manifesto.

So this hypothesis leads me to believe that the Pronunziamento with the «O.T.O.» annotation in the N.Y.P.L. is indeed the original such as it was finalized in February 1915. Does not Lewis himself affirm that his folder is made of «Original Documents»? In this case the document still in possession of A.M.O.R.C. would just be another copy of the charter which Lewis kept for his archives but not the «original» signed by the Secretary General as there is no sign of Thor Kiimalheto’s signature here.22

It is also worth remembering that Lewis transmitted his «History of the Rosicrucian Order» containing «Original Documents» to the N.Y.P.L. on March 19th, before the meeting of April 1st. One may infer that Lewis thought that the presence of his History in the N.Y.P.L. would attract new members for his Order and that it was an important element in his advertising campaign, as was also the article published in the Globe of February 24th. In this respect it is very probable that Lewis showed his American Pronunziamento Number One again at his other organization meeting held on March 3rd, because he says that if in fact «80 men and women attended this meeting among them being several Freemasons (...) most naturally there were some so-called skeptics present»23 and it is among them that were chosen the members of the future Supreme Council who backed and signed the charter of April 1st.

The corollary question is: did Lewis produce an official recognition of O.T.O. during these preliminary meetings, or is it just that he hoped to get one in the near futureand showed only at this stage a bunch of documents in relationship with O.T.O. ? But where did these documents come from if one excludes the possibility of a contact between Lewis and Reuss prior to 1920, as A.M.O.R.C. states? Did Lewis receive them from another chief of the O.T.O., namely Aleister Crowley, or other of ficers in the organization? And then: why did Lewis never refer to or reproduce the American Pronunziamento Number One again in his further publications, presenting only the constitutive charter of April 1st ?

The history of the Rosicrucians according to the founder of A.M.O.R.C.

In his early history of A.M.O.R.C. there is no question yet by Lewis of an «initiation» in Toulouse and no sort of claim is made for an authority from the French Rose-Croix. Indeed if we refer to the announcement published in The Globe and Commercial Advertiser of February 24th, 1915, it is just said concerning the «the Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosaea (sic) Crucis, which is now organizing an American Lodge» that:

«The Rosaea Crucis is not to be confused with the Red Cross Society (...) It has had and still has many distinguished members, among whom might be mentioned, according to the claims of the Rosicrucians, Napolean, Henry II. of England, King Louis the Pious, Lord Bulwer Lytton, and Lord Bacon. Dr. Alexis Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute, who is now at Lyons directing surgical treatment for wounded French soldiers, and Marie Corelli, the novelist, are members of European lodges, it is claimed. An ex-president of the United States is also said to be a Rosicrucian (...)

«The order is fraternal, like the Masons, which the Rosicrucians claim, sprang from the order of Rosaea Crucis, the seventeeth degree of Masonry, it is claimed, being an admission of its debt to the Rosicrucians.24 Outgrowths of the Rosaea Crucis, it is stated, are the Knights of the Rosy Cross in England and the Societe Rosicruciana (sic) in France.

«Rosicrucians in the United States have been trying for half a century to obtain the right to establish a lodge here, according to H. Spencer Lewis, American foundation president, of 130 Post avenue, who is also president of the New York Institute of Psychical Research (...) ‘After fifty years of pleading, negociating, and preparation, the supreme authorities have granted the right to establish such a lodge’ he said (...) ‘Any one who doubts that Rosicruciana is not well founded’, said Mr. Lewis in conclusion, ‘should go up to the Astor Library (...) There are between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 members of the order’».

Well this is a fair number indeed, but purely imaginative of course ! More significantly it should be first noticed that the names of Mr. Carrel and Mrs. Corelli will never appear again in further Lewis’claims for authority: were they members of the New York Institute of Psychical Research ? This is possible, but it is also probable that they asked Lewis never to mention their name again in relationship with A.M.O.R.C. Note that Alexis Carrel is the only French character whom the Imperator is talking of at the time to legitimate some sort of rosicrucian filiation from France.26 What else are these «supreme authorities» to which Lewis is referring and these alleged «fifty years of pleading, negociating and preparation» ? Here also appears for the very first time the name of Mrs May Banks-Stacey,27 whom the «masters of Egypt» - Lewis says – had chosen to bring him the testimony of a so-called pharaonic rosicrucian filiation:

«The cross used by the Rosicrucians as a symbol antedates Christ by 1,700 years (...) The family of Thotmis IV. founded the order and built the temple of Karnak and other temples, and were instrumental in having stored in the pyramids and other safe places the emblems and signs of material sciences and accomplishments. Realizing that some day knowledge might be wiped out, the family of Thotmis decided to store in the pyramids philosophies and secrets which could not be transcribed or otherwise indicated to perpetuate them for ‘time eternal’ (...) The supreme consuls in Egypt and India designated Mrs. May Banks-Stacey, widow of Colonel Stacey, U.S.A., to bring the jewels and symbols to this country. She also has the rosary used by the family of Thotmis about 1,500 B.C. The chain is made of skin, set with rubies, turquoises, amethysts, and other stones bearing weird hieroglyphics.»28

Well I do not know if the Thotmis’ rosary described in this sort of fairy tale – the rosary is still with A.M.O.R.C. today, I suppose - was the element which convinced the participants at the organization meeting held on February 8th, 1915 to support Lewis for the birth of A.M.O.R.C., but I guess there must have been some more significant documents and papers too. Who was the mysterious lady ?

Lewis and the odd Mrs. Banks-Stacey: the alleged connection with Egypt and India

Lewis gave a short biography of Mrs. Stacey in his magazine CROMAAT (which replaced for a time The American Rosae Crucis) at the occasion of her passing on January 21st, 1918 at the age of seventy-six «from this material plane to the Higher Realms». We learn from this article that Mrs. Banks-Stacey was a «direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell and an indirect descendant of Mary Stuart and Napoleon». She was born in Baltimore, Lewis says, her father having been an «eminent jurist», and she married the Col. M. H. Stacey who gave her a daughter and two sons. Being a «graduate physician and a graduate lawyer», she travelled to «nearly every foreign land»:

«While journeying through India her attention was given to the mystic teachings of the Hindus and these started her long carer of research in that field (...) she finally visited Egypt and there came in contact with the Rosaecrucian Masters. This was a few years prior to the coming of the Order to America. Mrs. Stacey desired the privilege of bringing the Order’s teachings to America and so expressed her desire (...) It was pointed to her, however, that the Order could not come to America until the year 1915. It was further explained that when the Order did come it would come through the sponsorship of France.»29

Then Lewis insists again on «a certain mystical Jewel of the Order and several sealed papers» which Mrs. Banks-Stacey had received from her masters in Egypt and was «requested to hold until such time as another came to her with a duplicate of one of the seals  and requested her assistance in establishing the Order in America». Then it is said that she went back to India to be «duly initiated» in the Rosicrucian Order after having shown the recognition received from the Egyptian masters, and she was given other papers «signed by the Supreme Council of the World».

Lewis states that Mrs. Stacey has put in the Archives of the Supreme Grand Lodge of A.M.O.R.C. a declaration with the following  statement:

«I further state that the said Jewels and incomplete instructions were delivered into my hands by the R.C. Masters of India, representing the Supreme Council of the World, and that I was there made an initiate of the Order and a Legate of the Order for America. I also state that the said Jewels and papers were represented to me as coming direct from Egypt and France, and that they were given to me to be formally handed to that man who should present certain papers, documents, jewels and ‘key’ in America. Such a person having matured and being Brother H. S. Lewis, I did the duty expected of me, fulfilled my commission and with pleasure express the joy at seeing the work so well under way in accordance with the prophecy made in India to me in person. The history of the Jewels and papers are, to my knowledge, exactly as stated herein and as described by Mr. Lewis, our Imperator, in the History of the Order as published in the Official Magazine.»30

There is no particular reason to contest the bona fide of Mrs. Stacey’s statement but one might wonder why in this case she never signed on April 1st, 1915 the constitutive «Charter declaring the authoritative, proper and legal establishment of the A.M.O.R.C. in America», which has been described supra. Mr. Rocks, who has dedicated to Mrs Banks-Stacey a short biographical sketch in the magazine Theosophical History, makes a similar observation:

«The gesture of including Mary Stacey in his autobiography seemed to be a strategy for the reinforcement of Lewis’ claim to Rosicrucian authenticity. Although Lewis publicized her as the organization’s co-founder, Stacey never signed the group’s original charter (...) Therefore, a biographical sketch, supported by sources outside of the Rosicrucian Order (A.M.O.R.C.), is essential to determine whether or not Mary Stacey could have functioned in the capacity ascribed by Lewis.»31

Mr. Rocks asserts that Mrs. Banks was born in July 1846, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, not Baltimore, his father being a well known attorney.32 She married Captain May Humpreys Stacey in 1869 who died in 1886. She lived from 1892 to 1897 in a boarding house in New York with a small widow’s pension which makes Mr. Rocks say that «existing records support the contention that her personal and financial circumstances made it all but impossible for her to travel anywhere other than from relative to relative» and to arrive at the following conclusion:

«Finally, Lewis benefitted from their relationship in ways that were obvious. In contrast, on can only speculate concerning the benefits to Mary Stacey. Therefore, the claims of Harvey Spencer Lewis pertaining to the degree of Stacey’s involvment with his organization must remain questionable. And, since that is the case, it would appear that Lewis’ claims of Rosicrucian authenticity wera just as incredulous as the claims of his rivals.»33

So we are back at our starting point concerning Lewis’ alleged rosicrucian filiation as Mrs. Stacey’s real connection with initiates of India or Egyptian remains to be proved.

Lewis and Aleister Crowley: a queer and mysterious relationship

But there is also a curious coincidence concerning the asserted role played by Mrs. Stacey in relation with the birth of A.M.O.R.C., as this is also «by the fall of 1914» the time that Aleister Crowley arrived in New York, roughly at the same date that the «grand old lady» is said to have come to Lewis.34

One might then question if there is no link between the transmission of «papers» and «instructions» from so-called masters in Egypt and Orient, and the presence at a similar date on the American soil of Aleister Crowley, who claimed a similar «oriental» and «egyptian» filiation. Was not in fact Mrs. Stacey a sort of straw woman who arrived just at the favourable moment – remember that the first Lewis’ attempt to launch A.M.O.R.C. in winter 1 913-1914 had been a failure - to justify an Oriental and Egyptian origin for A.M.O.R.C., Lewis having rather in mind a sort of partnership with the heads of O.T.O.? Unless this is just pure coincidence.

Although Lewis never mentioned any sort of relationship with the English Baphomet in his writings, it is obvious that Crowley knew Lewis, because the Baphomet says in his autobiography – he does not mention Lewis’ name directly, but there is no possible doubt concerning the character whom he is talking of:

«His claims were grotesquely absurd. For instance, he said that I don’t know how many knights of England and France – the most improbable people – were Rosicrucians. He said the Order was founded by one of the early Egyptian kings and professed to have documentary evidence of an unbroken hierarchy of initiates since then. He called the Order Rosae Crucis and translated it Rosy Cross. He said that in Toulouse the Order possessed a vast temple with fabulous magnificent appointments, an assertion disprovable merely by consulting Baedeker. He said that Rockefeller had given him nine hundred thousand dollars and at the same time sent round the hat with an eloquent plea for the smallest contributions. He professed to be a learned Egyptologist and classical scholar on terms of intimacy with the most exalted personages. Yet, as in the case of Peter, his speech betrayed him. He was a good chap at heart, a genuine lover of truth, by no means altogether ignorant of Magick, and a great fool to put up all this bluff instead of relying on his really good qualities.»35

Crowley dates this Lewis-portrait back to the spring of 1918 at the occasion of his rencontre in New York with a lady who, he says, «had been entangled in the toils of one of the charlatans who worked the Rosicrucian racket, merrily disdainful of criticism based on his elementary blunders in latin and his total ignorance of the Order which he claimed to rule».36 Would you talk this way of someone you have never met before ? This seems very improbable. This testimony tends also to emphasize the fact that Crowley met Lewis not just once but perhaps several times during his stay in New York, being the familiar description he gives of Lewis. The question is: if the hypothesis above is right, when did the two men meet for the very first time ?

Aleister Crowley was not totally unknown when he arrived in New York at the eve of the First World War «with fifty pounds and his wax paper charter of Honorary Magus of the Societas Rosicruciana in America in his pocket» as «his reputation had preceded him».37 In fact The World Magazine had already published in August, 1914, an account of Crowley’s activities in England, which had been followed by another article in December. The Baphomet had established at 40 West 3 6th Street, giving his address «as the headquarters of the O.T.O.», not far away from A.M.O.R.C. headquarters themselves, which were then established at 68 West 71st Street.38

The testimony of evidence: Crowley’s address to Lewis in 1918

It is not impossible therefore that the first encounter between the two men, or a first exchange of letters, did happen «by the fall of 1914», and that Crowley gave Lewis some documentation on the A.·. A.·. and O.T.O. with some sort of vague promise of acceptance or partnership in the Order, unless Lewis did obtain these documents in an indirect way through the intermediary of some Crowley’s or Reuss’ disciples, like Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, for instance.53 Then Crowley left New York in 1915 for «a trip round the coast» and went to Vancouver to meet his disciple Charles Stansfield Jones (Frater Achad).39 He was not back permanently in New York before the spring of 1917 where he resumed his «O.T.O. business» a words.

There the Baphomet certainly met Lewis as he prepared for him in 1918 - in spite of his mixed opinion of the character as we have seen before - a document which might be described as follows:

«Typescript address to the Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, {H. Spencer Lewis}, presenting the origin and grade structures for the A.·. A.·., O.T.O. and Order of the Illuminati, and outlining grounds for affiliation based upon acceptance of the Law of Thelema.»40

Is this document the official recognition of O.T.O. which Lewis was waiting for as we may assume from the mention «O.T.O» on the American Pronunziamento Number One ? This is possible. It would also mean that at his organization meetings held before the 1st April 1915 Lewis was not able to present a true recognition document from O.T.O. or any other rosicrucian source in Europe, but that he promised to get one as soon as possible.

Being more and more pressed by members concerning his authenticity and rosicrucian authority, Lewis then produced at the spring of 1916 the story of his alleged initiation in Toulouse, which seems nevertheless to have raised some skepticism among his members because the Imperator says that his «American Council» asked him to produce «a regularly executed paper of sponsorship of the American Order signed by the Supreme Council of the World» on behalf of the «Supreme Grand Lodge of France» which, he claimed, had initiated him in 1909. So the founder of A.M.O.R.C. came with a document intitled Pronunziamento R.F.R.C., N° 987,432 that was submitted to his American Council during October 1915 and which he gave a complete description of in his magazine.41 It seems that this document did not convince the members either about the Imperator’s authority upon A.M.O.R.C. as the Order was near to collapse by the end of 1917 when, being much criticized for his autocracy, Lewis resigned as Supreme Grand Master and appointed Conrad H. Lindstedt to succeed him.42 Lewis - who remained Imperator of course - announced:

«It is nearly time for us to retire from publicity and become the hidden organization which the Order has become in foreign lands. Gradually the real and full name of our Order will pass from the minds of the curious and be hidden from the gaze of the vulgar and profane. With the passing of the name into seeming oblivion will go into silence all but discreet word of mouth propaganda. This is as it should be (...) As 1918 enters into our consciousness we find the Order making its first move toward profound silence. We are about to retire to oblivion, as we predicted we would, and carry on our work in a greater way than has been possible before (...) Membership into our Order will be far more difficult to acquire after January, 1918, than membership into any other secret organization, and all Secretaries and Masters in our Order will be notified of the new requirements for membership after that date.»43

Lewis’ good intentions did not last for long and he soon started to advertise again bombastically for A.M.O.R.C. On June 17th, 1918 he was arrested on the ground of a «larceny of money through the sale of bonds» for his Order. On this occasion the Imperator told a reporter that «at no time had his organization A.M.O.R.C. ever claimed to be operating as a branch of the Rosae Crucis organization in France» and added: «We have never claimed to hold any warrant, charter, patent or authority from any foreign country».44 It is almost certain that Lewis’ declaration to the press did not remain unnoticed by the members of his American Council who probably questioned their Imperator again upon the source of his rosicrucian authority.

Being forced into producing tangible proofs of filiation and authenticity, it is then possible that Lewis turned again to the Baphomet, because Crowley’s address «to the Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis» dates back to the same period of June-July 1918. Indeed, on the first sheet of the document is a Golden Eye of the Illuminati within sunburst rays with the following heading: «Given from the City of Pyramids, under the Night of Pan, in the Fourteenth Year of the Aeon, the Sun being in the Sign of Cancer». What does this mean ? One should remember that it is in Egypt, after a night spent in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid, that Crowley received on April 8th, 1904 in the «City of Pyramids» - that is to say Cairo - the Liber Legis or Book of Law from his «holy guardian angel» named Aiwass. So the fourteenth year of the new era of Aeon is for Crowley 1918, and the sun in Cancer is an astrological reference for a date between June 23rd and July 22nd. The document of four pages prepared by Crowley for Lewis bears the embossed golden seal of the Baphomet and is signed three times by Crowley («... For the A.·. A.·. 666 The Mega Therion Magus 9=2, ...for the O.T.O. Baphomet XI°, ... for the Illuminati Ankh-f-n-Khonsu...») and three times by Charles Stansfeld Jones, Crowley’s delegate in Canada («...777 O.I.V.V.I.O. Magister Templi 8=3, ... Parsival X° Canada, ... Hoor-par Kraat...»).45

Crowley’s claim of authority upon Lewis

But this document never arrived in Lewis’ possession and remained in Crowley’s papers until 1938 when it was then given with other manuscripts to his solicitors, Isador Caplan and Isidore Kerman, as a settlement of his debts to the firm subsequent to his bankrupcy.46 What might have been the reason why Crowley never delivered the document to Lewis ? Is it because in the end there was a disagreement between the two men on some possible financial aspect of the partnership ? Or was Lewis dissuaded by his family or his closest relations to carry on furthest negotiations with Crowley because of his bad reputation in America due to his involvement in sexual magic or pro-German politics ?47

There is no answer to this question at present, and not only Lewis, but also Crowley, never made any reference again to this aborted partnership.48 Yet, it should be noticed that the Baphomet 666 was in contact with Lewis again at the autumn 1935, at the eve of his bankrupcy, as he wrote a letter to question the Imperator of A.M.O.R.C. on his Rosicrucian authority, with some ulterior motives as we shall see. Lewis replied back to Crowley, and the latter addressed another new «strictly private and confidential» mail to the founder of A.M.O.R.C. with interesting remarks.49 Indeed, on page 4, Crowley makes a clear reference to his meeting with Lewis in the past, which confirms our previous hypothesis plainly about the alleged relationship between the two men in New York during the period 1914/18:

«You will remember that when I met you in New York, I was not altogether in sympathy with your methods, but that when you were attacked by mutinous members of your organisation, I rallied immediately to your defence.»50

Moreover, in this letter, Crowley talks about a Charter shown to him by Lewis and purporting to be from the Rose-Croix in France, probably the famous Pronunziamento R.F.R.C. 987.432 or 978.601 of which there has already been question,51 making it clear, with some irony, that this was a fake prepared by the Imperator himself:

«I also did you a good turn in respect of the Charter purporting to be from the French Rosicrucians in Toulouse, by pointing out that if they had mastered all the secrets of Nature, those of the elementary rules of French grammar still baffled them, so that you wisely withdrew the document.»52

Crowley will be even more explicit a few years later in a letter addressed to Arnoldo Krumm-Heller:

«Spencer Lewis (...) had been knocking about for years trying to run a fake Rosicrucian order. He cast about everywhere for authority and when I first met him in New York in 1918 E.V., he was showing a charter supposed to be from the French Rosicrucians in Toulouse. He had devoted so much time to the conquest of the innermost secrets of Nature that he had not been able to spend any to learn French. Now even in New York there are a few people who know French and this ridiculous forgery made him a general laughing stock so that he withdrew it.»53

So it seems obvious from the above that the Charter shown to his members by Lewis at the very beginning of A.M.O.R.C., and supposed to come from the French Rose-Croix, was a coarse forgery as we meant it in Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde already and in this article. Lewis being unable to demonstrate any sort of definitive relationship with the old Rose-Cross in Europe, Crowley will constantly affirm his moral or initiatic authority upon Lewis and A.M.O.R.C. afterwards This would explain the Baphomet’s words to an American disciple in 1936:

«The only document so far exhibited by Lewis (except a fantastic Warrant or Charter from alleged ‘Rosicrucians in Toulouse’, containing the grossest blunders in elementary French grammar) is the Facsimile N°. 20 of page 108 of Clymer’s jumble of malice and nonsense.54 This is not a Warrant or Charter, but an Honorary Diploma. It confers no authority to do anything at all, except the right to smile amiably at his own people  and it is revocable. My own seal appears at the foot. However, this Diploma was issued by Reuss without my knowledge.

But the demonstration is complete that so far as Lewis has any claim to existence at all, it rests upon my authority»

Crowley, who was then already in bankrupcy, even prepared a «Memorandum» for the American authorities declaring:

«Aleister Crowley is the head of the O.T.O. (...) The Order is international in scope. A Mr. H. Lewis Spencer has been in control of an Order with headquarters in California under the title of A.M.O.R.C. His authority is, however, derived from the O.T.O. The property of the A.M.O.R.C. is, therefore, by the Constitution of the Order, legally the property of Mr. Aleister Crowley (...) Mr. Crowley proposes to go to California and claim the property (...) In recent correspondance between Mr. Crowley and Mr. Lewis, the latter has thought to avoid acknowledgment of the authority of the former, but he can produce no alternative authority and the true position is demonstrated beyond question by Mr. Lewis’ own documents (...) The details of this proposition, with documentary corroboration, will be shown to interested parties on application.»56

It does not seem that this miscarried plan had too much effect on Lewis’ career because the Imperator inaugurated his new temple in New York at the autumn of 1918 with the money he had obtained from the «Supreme Grand Lodge Temple Fund Donations» and which had caused him a night in jail.57 But the doubt was still so present in the minds of many A.M.O.R.C. members that by the end of 1918 Lewis felt obliged to deliver an «Imperator’s Personal Message» in which he tried to give an answer to the «Paramount Problems» of the Order, declaring in particular:

«This brings me to another one of the charges made: that there was not and is not a truly established, rightfully empowered Supreme Rosaecrucian (or Rose Croix) Council of the World (...) All who should know will come to know some day, that the Great White Brotherhood of the World has its Supreme R+C Council, the members of which are the chief executives of our Order wherever it exists  and, some day, the relation between our Order and similar branches of work being conducted by the Great White Brotherhood will be made known. Until then, silence and fidelity are the watchwords.»58

And at the beginning of 1919, in a special issue of his publication Cromaat, Lewis published a communication «officially delivered to the Imperator through the offices of the Hierophant R+C (...) by two messengers deputized to hand it to the Imperator in person (...) Where it came from was not indicated and the messengers refused to give any information, merely indicating that they were the seventh step in the transmission (sic)».59 This communication was said to have been signed by a certain «Factor Luminis» and announced profound changes for A.M.O.R.C., namely that the Imperator no longer attempted «to carry on the double task of executive administrator and esoteric supervision».60

The partnership between Theodor Reuss and Lewis: the A.M.O.R.C. World Union Council

Then, in the 1921 September issue of his new magazine The Triangle, Lewis announced that he had received during the summer, from the «Ordo Templi Orientis», a document granting upon him «the highest Masonic Degrees». This document also confered the Imperator with the title of «Most Illustrious Sir Knight and Fratrer R.C.» and appointed A.M.O.R.C. of America as «Gage of Amity for the Ordo Templi Orientis of Europe». However there was no menti on by Lewis in the magazine concerning the person who had signed the charter because it is just said that the document came from a «Sovereign Sanctum of Freemasonry abroad»:

«One other item may interest our members. A large and interesting document was received during the month of August from a Sovereign Sanctum of Freemasonry abroad conferring upon our Imperator the highest Masonic degrees such as Honorary 33rd and the 90th and 95th Degrees of the Ancient and Primitive Rites of Memphis and Mizraim (under a charter of authority issued by John Yarker, 33rd, the eminent Masonic authority and historian and Sovereign Grand Master General of England) whereby our Imperator is given the Masonic titles of Prince of Memphis (Egypt), Member of the Sovereign Tribunal and Defender of the Order  and Sovereign Patriarchal Grand Conservator of the Rites, Sublime Prince of the Magi. The Honorary 33rd Degree carries with it the title of Knight Grand Inspector General. The document further makes the Imperator an Honorary Member of the Sovereign Sanctuary of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. These are confered under the charter and authority of Grand Orient of ancient Gaul and the Supreme Sanctuary of Great Britain. Also the Ordo Templi Orientis (Oriental Order of the Temple, Fraternity of the Hermetic Light), has conferred its high degrees upon our Imperator with the title of Most Illustrious Sir Knight and Fratre R.C., appointing our Supreme Lodge in this country as Gage of Amity for the Ordo Templi Orientis of Europe.»61

In fact this charter had been granted to Lewis by Reuss, whom the Imperator had first contacted at the end of 1920, according to A.M.O.R.C.62, on the recommandation of the spurious Freemason McBlain Thomson, the editor of The Universal Freemason and a member of the Papus’ «Fédération Maçonnique Universelle» (1908), who had been adressed a similar «Gage of Amity» by Reuss on May 10th, 1919 .

Péladan’s lamen of «L’Ordre Catholique de la Rose-Croix du Temple et du Graal»

To my knowledge, the Reuss’ O.T.O. charter to Lewis dated July 30th, 1921 was not reproduced before 1933 and is similar to the many charters granted by Reuss - it is also worth noting that Cecil Stansfeld Jones had been chartered on May 10th, 1921 as X° of the O.T.O. for the «United States of North America».

O.T.O. / M.'.M.'.M.'. lamen

A.M.O.R.C. ancient document

The autumn of 1921 was also the date of the divorce between Reuss and Crowley, that is to say the end of their collaboration, and there is a link probably between this divorce and the fact that Reuss accredited Jones and Lewis, as he probably hoped an extension of O.T.O. in the New World under his own leadership.63 The project of collaboration between Reuss and Lewis even took a more definite aspect under the name of T.A.W.U.C., or «The A.M.O.R.C. World Union Council»«Council of the Universe». Indeed, the above said article of The Triangle adds immediately after:

«Furthermore, the world council of the Rosicrucian Order, under its official title (translated), The Supreme High Council of the Universe, through its Great White Collegium (Lodge), announces its forthcoming annual pronouncements, conferring upon our Order some high honors and making all our high degree members of the Supreme Grand Lodge of North America, Honorary Members of the Grand Shrine of Egypt and of the Illuminati of India by virtue of the power of the Magister of the Temple R. C. at Calcutta (sic). This Supreme High Council of the Universe has under its immediate direction more than thirty of the Secret Orders of the world which have existed since the dawn of civilization, which means all the esoteric orders or Fraternities, including the Essenes, Oriental Theosophists, Esoteric masonry, Rose-Croix de Heredom, Krata Repoa of Egypt, Rites of Mithras, Knights of Jerusalem, Oriental Druids, L’Ordre du Martinisme (sic), Oriental Knights Templar, the Order of Rosae Crucis, etc. The practise of all the ancient and primitive rites of these Orders, the conferring of their degrees and the establishment of their Lodges are under the control of this Supreme Council, and thereby all are united into one large and co-operative, harmonious, secret organization. Our Imperator is a high officer of this Council and all our members who reach the Twelfth (Illuminati) Degree of our Order will be appointed official representatives of this Council.»64

Who would then consider leaving A.M.O.R.C. after such a magnificent promise was made to the «high degree members» ? In fact, the only purpose of this Imperator’s conceited piece of «rosicrucian» anthology was to show how A.M.O.R.C. was supposed to be far superior to any other concurrent rosicrucian organization in America (Heindel’s Rosicrucian Fellowship, Clymer’s Fraternitas Rosae Crucis or Plummer’s Societas Rosicruciana In America of which there had just been question in the July 19th, 1921 issue of The Triangle). Hence Lewis’ conclusion:

«By all this it will be seen that the A.M.O.R.C. is the only organization, body, society or group of Rosicrucians in America (or in the world, for that matter) having the approval, recognition and direction of the Supreme High Council of all ancient and modern Secret Rites».65

It seems that there was no sequel to the T.A.W.U.C. project and the relationship between Lewis and Reuss came to an end quickly enough. But at least Lewis had succeeded in what he was looking for: to show A.M.O.R.C. members that he was recognized as some sort of high rosicrucian authority in Europe and that there existed in real earnest something known as the «High Council of the Universe», namely the World Union Council, at least in Lewis’ mind.

Yet the Imperator kept some contact with the heads of O.T.O. as, according to a correspondance between C. S. Jones and Heinrich Tränker quoted by Ellic Howe and Helmut Möller in their book Merlin Peregrinus, the Imperator participated in 1922 incognito with his wife at a secret O.T.O meeting.

Lewis and Heinrich Tränker: an International Council of A.M.O.R.C.

Reuss passed away in 1923 without a direct successor, and many claimed for his succession. Heinrich Tränker (1880-1956), an O.T.O. member and bookseller who had founded in 1921 a neo-rosicrucian movement called Pansophia, was one of the pretenders who even tried to buy Reuss’ O.T.O. archives from his wife.66 Of course, when he was aware of the existence of this German O.T.O./Pansophia, Lewis tried to negotiate with Tränker, alias Frater Recnartus, and came in his new magazine The Rosicrucian Digest of September 1930 – his relationship with Tränker seems to have started by the very beginning of 193067 - with this most uncredible story of a blood transfusion from one of the descendants of the «original Christian RosenCreutz»:

«The recent convention of Rosicrucians at San Jose during the month of July became of greater importance than we anticipated through the fact that it actually became an International Convention (...) Among the highlights of important matters that were settled by the Convention are the fol1owing: First, the presentation of documents and records showing that the A.M.O.R.C. throughout the world is one solid, universal organization without any divisions other than geographical ones (...) The most important of the documents in this regard was one sent here for this Convention by the Imperator and Supreme Council of the Order in Germany. The Rosicrucian Order there, known as the Rosen Kreuzer, has an unbroken existence for many centuries, for it has adhered to the ancient principles of the Order whereby each Supreme Grand Master is succeeded by one of his sons or a brother of his blood. In some countries where such succession has been made impossible because the Grand Masters had no offspring or relatives, the lineal descent through blood relationship has been maintained by the transfusion of blood from the body of the existing Grand Master to the new and succeeding officer before the transition of the former. In every case where an Imperator has been appointed for a new jurisdiction, after a period of inactivity where there were no direct descendants in the interval, the new Imperator was always selected from among those persons who were the nearest relatives to the last Grand Master. Such selected persons journeyed abroad and in a high council meeting, and in the presence of other Masters, was acclaimed as the nearest in direct link, and later the blood of the highest Master in direct line was transfused into his body to give him the actual blood relationship to the direct line. Thus in all of the active jurisdictions today, the highest officer has received through transfusion the blood of  C. R-C. and is a direct successor to this eminent character whose original identity is so carefully concealed. The C. R-C. of Germany, who became so well-known in the 17th century, was one of these descendants of the original C. R-C, and it may be of interest to our members to know that our Imperator here in North America has also received the transfusion of direct blood because of his actual relationship, indirectly, to relatives of the original Rosen Kreuzers of ancient times. The German document sent here was only signed and sealed by the head of the organization in Germ countersigned and sealed by the highest officers of the German Government and is an indisputable document, and finally countersigned and sealed by the American Consul General in Berlin.»68

Second Official Fama

Heinrich Tränker's signature

Of course, this story is linked with Tränker but is Lewis’ pure invention and has nothing to do with their relationship.69 The only faithful information contained in the two pages of this article is that «H. Spencer Lewis  had been made one of the two vice-presidents of the International Council». The final result of Lewis’ partnership with Tränker was the publication in November 1930 under the heading «International Hedquarters of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Mystic Order Rosae Crucis, Berlin, Germany» of an «Official Communication to all Humanity» or «Second Official Fama», said to have been issued through the «United Organizations of the Rose Cross: A.M.O.R.C., Brotherhood of the Rose Cross, Fraternitatis Hermetica Lucis, Ordo Templi Orientis, Collegium Pansophia, Societas Pansophia».70 As for the rest of Lewis’ associations abroad, the partnership with Pansophia was a failure and did not last for long because Tränker established an independant «Societas Pansophia Universalis» in New York during the year 1932.71

A.M.O.R.C. teachings and the O.T.O.

Are there any signs of Crowley’s, Reuss’ or Tränker’s influence in the teachings or litterature of A.M.O.R.C. which would permit to conclude that A.M.O.R.C. is an offspring of O.T.O. ? Well it is obvious that many elements of O.T.O. have been added to A.M.O.R.C., the most often quoted being the use of the M.'.M.'.M.'./O.T.O. lamen,72 and the motto drawn from Crowley's Book of the Law: «Do what thou wilt, is the whole of the law  love is the law  love under will », which the Imperator presents in his high degrees as being «one of the Rosicrucian Laws» which - says Lewis - he has refrained from using in any of the lower Degrees of A.M.O.R.C. «because it is so apt to be misunderstood».73

There is a certain similarity also between A.M.O.R.C. and O.T.O. in the organization of their teachings, as it may be seen from the comparative chart herewith. But Lewis has derived many ideas too from the American «New Thought», particularly from books like The philosophy of Electrical Psychology74 by John Bovee Dods or those of William Walker Atkinson, The Law of the New Tought. A Study of Fundamental Principles and Their Application, The Secret of Mental Magic, Mental Fascination, Thought-Force, Subconscious and Superconscious Planes, etc. Atkinson wrote also under the pseudonym of Yogi Ramacharaka many books on Yoga which Lewis used in the A.M.O.R.C. teachings for his practical breathing and meditation exercices: Course in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism, Science of Breath, Psychic and Spiritual Development, etc.75

Nevertheless there is an essential difference between the A.M.O.R.C. and the O.T.O. teachings. To my knowledge Lewis never introduced in A.M.O.R.C. either the «white» sexual magic of the O.T.O. or the «black» sexual magic of Crowley’s upper degrees. This is where Clymer went absolutely wrong when trying to prove that Lewis was some sort of a «black magician». There is no sort of evidence in the A.M.O.R.C. teachings of sex magic at all. Even the motto « Do what thou wilt» was transposed by Lewis on the mystical side of it, as the Imperator comments:

«That does not mean that you can do as you please, and that there is no other law except the law permitting you to go through life and do anything and everything that you desire to do. You would see at once that such a principle would not be any law at all. The key to the whole law lies in the word will. This command to do the things you will to do means to do the things you have reasoned upon, examined, analized and finally agreed upon, with the understanding that you will assume all the responsibility for your act, and bear all the Karma that results therefrom. You see, therefore, that the law is very like the other one expressed in our teachings, ‘If you dare to do, you will have the power to do’.»76

O.T.O. Course of Instruction

Probationers’ Class
Introduction and Preparation
Elementary Anatomy
Elementary Physiology
Elementary Philosophy

Students’ Class
Special Anatomy
General Survey of Nerves. Reading of Nerve Charts. Definition of Nervousness.
Physiology of Motor and Sensory Nerves.
Physiology of Sympathetic Nerves and Vagus.
Bio-Magnetism. L’Aimant.
Prana. Od. Psychic Force.
Magnetic Healing.

Initiates’ Class
Nature’s Finer forces. Elementary and Secondary.
Hermetic Physiology of Nerves. Solar Plexus.
The Eye.
The Water.
Secret Doctrine
Mystic anatomy.
Lotus. Hermetic initiation.
Practical hermetic science.77

Subjects of the A.M.O.R.C. Teachings

Neophyte Degrees
The Mysteries of Time and Space. The Five Senses of Man. The Human Consciousness. The Trinity of Metaphysical Points. Change-Death. The Unreality of Matter. The Development of the Inner Self. The principles of the Mystical Laws. Powers and Faculties of the Inner Man. Proper Principles for Concentration. Development of the Will Power. Mystery of Matter - Cohesion, Adhesion, Magnetism. True Meaning of Ancient Symbolism. Attaining Cosmic Consciousness. Fundamentals of Mental Attunement. The Primary Principles Back of Creation. What the Masters of the Orient Taught. Human Aura and Its Vibration Effect. The Process of True Visualisation. Metaphysical Healing. Cosmic Powers and Forces. Experiments in Producing Vitality and Personal Magnetism.

Postulant Degrees
Perfecting the Physical Body. The Vital Force of the Cell. Ancient Mystics and Symbols. The Perfection of Concentration. Intuition Through Cosmic Attunement. Truth About Vibrations and Their Effect Upon Us. Formation of Matter. Relation of Psychic Powers of Man to Soul. How to Operate the Powers of Mind at Will. The Sympathetic and Physical Nervous Systems. Light, Colour and Sound and their Effect Upon Mind. Regeneration - Health and Adding Years to Your Life. The Soul and Its Process of Evolution. Practices of the Ancient Alchemists. Method to Develop the Mental Abilities. Methods for Quickening the Inner Consciouness.

Temple Degrees
Rosicrucian Mystics and the Creative Power of Mind. Experiments on Thought Transmission. Materialistic Science and Metaphysical Laws. Creating Life out of Non-Living Matter. Important Discoveries in Rosicrucian Chemistry and Physics. Secret Teachings of the Rosicrucians. Mind’s Influence over Matter. The Creative Power, the Cosmic Mind. Rosicrucian View Point of Life. Experiments with Colour, Thought Vibration, Sound, and Light. Use of Dormant Faculties in Man. The Geometrical Law of Matter’s Assembly. Life-Causes-Beginnings. The Ancient Philosophies and the Mystery Schools. The Laws and Cycles of Reincarnation. Periodicity of the Soul's Rebirth. Human Emotions and Instincts. The Mystical Principles of Proper Breathing. Cosmic Transmission of Pictures and Impressions. Cosmogony - Study of the Universe's Beginning. How to improve the Affairs of Daily Life. Acquiring Harmony of Body and Mind.78


Therefore my final conclusion is that A.M.O.R.C. is NOT an offspring of the O.T.O. stricto sensu. It is well Lewis’ creation and does not derive from any other existing movement, and A.M.O.R.C. teachings are a compendium or digest of different sources, a sort of «melting pot» to which Lewis added his personal ingredients and which has finally produced something of its own.79 In fact Lewis was never truly interested in the different Orders from which he was looking for acknowledgments. William Riesener, who was the Imperator’s sponsor for a time, told of Lewis when he was ordained during August 1920 in the so-called Californian «Church of Dharma» by a certain Sri E.L.A.M.M. Kahn:

«I and my family were present at the ordination ceremony. Mr. Lewis said he first took up this church work that he wanted to be able to do like other priests and ministers – something good for humanity – visit the sick, help the fallen, and so on, and at first I believed him. But in the time the real truth came out. He wanted to use it and he did use it for propaganda purposes for A.M.O.R.C.»80

And indeed Lewis used his "ordination" to claim that he had been appointed a delegate of the "Great White Brotherhood of Light" in Tibet (G.W.B.L.), under the name of "Sri Sobhita Bhikku", and pretexted it to have himself admitted in the Orders composing the "Fédération Universelle des Ordres et Sociétés Initiatiques" (F.U.D.O.S.I.), which again Lewis used to make propaganda for A.M.O.R.C. as he reproduced many F.U.D.O.S.I. documents in his advertising material.81

The final question is - for which there is no definitive reply of course: would A.M.O.R.C. have known such a rapid growth and success in America, and then in the world, without all these advertising campaigns and Lewis' successive reference to O.T.O., T.A.W.U.C., Pansophia, G.W.B.L., and then the F.U.D.O.S.I. ?82

February, 2001

Copyright © 2001 by Robert Vanloo

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, except for personal use or by a magazine reviewer or scholar who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with his work.


Crowley’s 1918 typescript address to Lewis83

                                 Given from the City of the Pyramids,
                                 under the Night of Pan, in
                                 the Fourteenth Year of the Aeon, the
                                 Sun being in the Sign of Cancer.
 To the Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.
 Dear Sir and Brother,
 Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!
 A.·. A.·.
 Our whole work is based upon the Law of Thelema as laid down in the
 Book CCXX; cooperation between us would therefore involve the official
 acceptance of this Law.
 The A.·. A.·. is the Third Order of Secret Chiefs, containing Three Grades,
 Ipsissimus, Magus and Magister Templi: it will be necessary for you to
 recognise To Mega Therion - 666 - as Magus of the Order and Logos
 Aionos, the Supreme visible authority of the A.·. A.·.
 We admit your right to claim the Grade of Magister Templi on
 subscription to the Oath of that Grade.
 The Second Order, dependent upon the A.·. A.·. and preparatory to it, is
 commonly known a Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis; and contains Three
 Grades. Members of the A.·. A.·. who wish to work openly, disguise
 themselves as merely members of this Order, whose governing Body has
 three Officers, Imperator, Praemonstrator and Cancellarius.
 As a Member of the Magister Templi Grade of the A.·. A.·. you would have
 independent authority to establish this Order and to operate it by any
 System convenient to you. If you should exercise this right, it might
 be possible for us to cooperate with you, To Mega Therion as
 Praemonstrator and O.I.V.V.I.O. as Cancellarius.
 The First or Outer Order is dependent again from this and preparatory
 to it. It is commonly known as the G.D. and contains six Grades,
 including the Threshold of the R.R. and A.C. and the Neophyte's Degree.
 The Authority in this Order was exercised up to yhe year 1900 or
 thereabouts, by S.L. Mathers (Count Macgregor of Glenstrae). He derived
 this right and his Grade, which was the highest in the Second Order,
 from a member of the Third Order, Sapiens Dominabitur Astris, Fraulein
 Sprengel. He abused it, and it was therefore withdrawn from him by the
 Secret Chiefs, who approached Brother Aleister Crowley in March 1903
 E.V. in the City of Cairo and transferred the Authority to him. He
 himself became a Member of the A.·. A.·.(the Third Order) in 1906 E.V. but
 did not accept the position until 3 years later. We mention this in
 order to show you that we possess the true Authority to operate in the
 tradition of C.R.C. We must however state that we have always been
 opposed to Group working and to the use of the name Rosicrucian, and
 always pretended ignorance of that Order when questioned on the
 subject. If you should claim Membership of the A.·. A.·. you would however
 be free to do exactly as you liked about this, but we should give it to
 you in the strongest terms of recommendation to avoid the use of the
 name except within the College of the Holy Ghost itself.
 The principles of the O.T.O. will be clear to you from the accompanying
 pamphlet. We should be prepared to make you a member of the Supreme
 Grand Council on subscription to the Oath of the VIIth Degree. This
 Oath would bind you to use your influence to influence others to join
 the Order. It would be necessary for you to go through the Ritual of
 the VIth Degree.
 "Order of the Illuminati"
 The Supreme Authority of the Order of the Illuminati for the United
 States of America, as derived by the uninterrupted tradition from Adam
 Weishaupt, is vested by Patents, which we are ready to produce, in
 Brother Aleister Crowley. We should be prepared to cooperate with you
 in establishing this Order in this Country. We strongly recommend that
 it should not be in any way thrown open to persons without previous
 training, but that only members of the VIIth Degree of the O.T.O. and
 of some vey high Degree of your own Order should be eligible.
 It is the intention of To Mega Therion to withdraw himself as far as
 possible from personal contact with the profane, at the earliest
 moment, and to retire to the most inaccessible portion of the earth's
 surface, where to prepare the new Volume III of the Equinox. It might
 be possible to make arrangements whereby you would undertake the
 external work connected with this publication while sending specially
 favoured, or rather fit, members of your Order to undertake a course of
 training in the solitudes.
 In order for the work of the Order to succeed, it is highly desirable
 that some of its Members at least, should be wholly consecrated. When
 such persons are wholly invisible like the Theosophical Mahatmas,
 people soon doubt their existence, and discredit is thrown on the
 principles of the Order. When, on the other hand, they are always in
 evidence, the respect in which they are held soon disappears and the
 work of the Order again suffers in consequence.
 We think it highly important to establish a shrine, on some mountain or
 in some desert, which demands at least 24 hours really hard travel to
 approach it.
 It is not necessary for you to accept all these suggestions: the
 acceptance of one would be considered a basis of active cooperation,
 but so as we began, so we end, the first and last of this letter is the
 acceptance of the law of Thelema.
 Love is the law, love under will.
                                                Yours fraternally,

Private and confidential letter from Crowley to Lewis (1935)

London, December 2, 1935
My dear Imperator,
It is really very good of you to have answered my letter at such length and
with such care.
Let me first reply to your points.
(1) I have never doubted your knowledge of many of the facts in question. But I do
not think that any apparent variance between your position and mine is irreconcilable.
A. John Yarker's activities were first and foremost Masonic, and in point of fact he
quarreled with everybody! His organisation was never more than a mere skeleton.
After the original splash in which he affiliated a hundred or more High Grade Masons
to the rites of Memphis and Mizraim, the opposition of the Scottish Rite in Golden
Square (now in Duke Street) brought everything to naught. We had barely enough
men to fill the Grand Office. My Diploma from Yarker is dated November 29, 1910.
My Diploma from Frosini is dated 2666 AUC. I have an American Diploma, dated
March 21, 1913, among others.
B. Reuss could not have been Grand Master of England because he was Grand Master
of Germany. But he was the real successor, as opposed to the official successor,
simply because of his ability and energy. In a letter written to me shortly before his
death, Yarker definitely designated Henry Meyer to succeed him as National Grand
Master of England. Henry Meyer was present at the convocation of Grand Masters in
1914. I was elected Patriarch Grand Administrator General; and Meyer left all the
work to me.
Reuss was a man of action who understood realities; and, while very
scrupulous about Minutes and Charters and son on, did not allow himself to be
fettered by them.
From 1912 until the outbreak of the war, I was seeing Reuss nearly every day,
and my revised Rituals were approved by him. He was almost invariably present at
our ceremonies.
The war made it very difficult for Reuss and myself to communicate, and it
was only after the armistice that we resumed regular correspondence.
(2) All that I did was done directly under Reuss' supervision and his request. It has
nothing to do with the Golden Dawn, and I certainly did not call this Rosicrucian,
because it derives directly from Egyptian symbolism. There are no groups or meetings
in this Order. (The "Temple" activities have always been doubtfully regular, and were
discontinued in 1904.)
(3) As I stated previously, Franz Hartmann was titular Grand Master of U.S.A. But I
am inclined to agree with you that his activities cannot have been overt.
(4) I have the Charter among my papers now in Warehouse. With regard to my letter
relations with Reuss, I have to point out that the defeat of Germany meant his
complete financial ruin. He was shooting about in all directions (in what I must
regretfully describe as a random manner) for support. He would issue Diploma to all
sorts of people, for instance Traänker, without proper investigation. He was, I think,
also a little resentful with the part I had played during the war. It was when he had
given up all hope that he wrote (to - not from - Sicily) appointing me O.H.O. to
succeed him. The approach of death naturally restored his equilibrium.
(5) I do not expect to hear from people who are dead. And, as you are aware, in
Germany and Italy all such activities are rigorously suppressed. But I occasionally
receive letters from individuals of high position in the old organisation. All this has no
importance because there were at no time any large or important Lodges. It was a case
of a few and isolated people struggling along as best they could, and the war killed
(6) I have a letter from the Grand Master of the Order of the Martinists who
succeeeded Papus, in which letter I am fully recognised, dated March 8th, 1928.
(7) I have already dealt with thus under (4).
(8) My point is that it does not matter who claims to be the Head of an Order which
has no existence in fact. The only Rituals workable under modern conditions are those
of the O.T.O. written by me at the instigation, and under the supervision, of Reuss.
The only  thing that matters is the ultimate secret of the O.T.O., which is not
disclosed below IX°. That secret is important because its possession confers real
powers. I do not know whether you yourself are in possession of it, as you have not
claimed any degree beyond the VII°. But persons in charge of Governments are under
no illusions as to the value of this decret, and have gone to incredible lengths in the
hope of discovering it. See separate documents enclosed.
I have no evidence of any authority conferred on you except the Reuss
Diploma, which is after all a very guarded document, and not in any sense a Warrant
or Charter. Besides, it is revocable. I am sure you will thank me for not referring to
the City of Toulouse. What have you then which is definitely Rosicrucian in character
? What authority have you apart from that of the O.T.O.? In this working there is
ample authority from sources which you have so far not mentioned. But if I had
authority whatever, my possession of the ultimate secret would confer it.
In short, I had better tell you exactly what happened. When Mathers brought
action against the Equinox in 1910 and was thrown out of Court, Reuss came to me
and said: "I am the secret Chief of the Rosicrucian Order." I said: "Speak to my
secretary, and he will assign you a place in the queue." For at that time about a dozen
or more dead-heads came along, each claiming to be the sole and supreme chief of the
Rosicrucian Order.
But, some time later, on the publication of a certain book of mine, Reuss again
called upon me, and said: "You mus be obligated immediately to the IX° of the
O.T.O." I asked why. He replied: "Because you have published the Secret." I said: "I
have done nothing of the sort. I do not know the secret. What is it?" He then told me
the Secret. I said: "I have never heard this before, and I have certainly never published
anything about it." He went to my bookshelves, took down the book in question, and
pointed out to me the passage! I was aghast. It had been written under inspiration, and
my conscious mind had paid no attention. I had printed the passage because it had
been written under inspiration, in a mood of not wanting to be bothered to revise what
I meant to print. I saw at once that he was right, I realised the importance of the
matter. I accepted the obligations. And I devoted myself to the work of the O.T.O.
(9) I hold no brief for Dr. Krum-Heller, but he has certainly been doing work of some
practical importance. As his aims are generally sympathetic; I do not think that he
should be altogether ignored.
(10) On page 1 of your letter you deny very emphatically that the Scottish Rite and
the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim are in any factor in your claim. Yet the only
document on which you base your claim is devoted to these Rites, as concentrated in
the O.T.O. (which is printed in big type right across the Diploma) and nothing
whatever is said about Rosicrucians. Further, my own private Seal is at the foot of the
document. At the same time I wish to point out that according to my information it
has always been strictly forbidden for any Rosicrucian to claim to be one. I shall be
interested to learn why you have departed from this tradition. - I take it that it is
legitimate to say that authority is "derived" from them. -
I think that the above should be an adequate basis for complete understanding
between us. There is no need for allowing these matters to come to the knowledge of
unworthy persons.
I will now go a little into personal matters. I may remark to begin with that my
bankruptcy affairs were conducted on purely Rosicrucian principles, and have not in
any way affected my income. I am sorry about the 'egotism', but I thought that you
wanted the facts.
You write: "you say that you can clear yourself." I said that "I had been
cleared." The only difficulty that remains is to get this fact into the alleged minds of
the kind of people who read the lowest class of Sunday newspaper, and believe the
rubbish there printed. This would not matter except for the fact that even people who
know that the allegations against me are pure nonsense are afraid of the prejudice of
the illeterate. My position is in this respect precisely similar to your own. But owing
to the state of the Law in America you have no real remedy against people like
Swinburne Clymer. Otto Kahn was over here in 1922 when there was some question
of a libel action and he said to me: "in America they can print that I robbed my
partner, and raped my cook; and there is nothing I can do about it." Now in England
we have a good enough Law, but we cannot make proper use of it unless we can
afford to pay the top-nitchers. I did not know this at the time of my libel against action
against Constable, or I should have briefed Sir Patrick Hastings. I was innocent
enough to think that, because my case was so good, Truth would prevail by its own
manifestation. But I have other actions pending, and shall conduct them properly.
What is principally needed is to convict Betty May of parjury. She openly boasts of
how she fooled the Judge, and steps are actually in process to bring out a pectacular
You will remember that when I met you in New York, I was not altogether in
sympathy with your methods, but that when you were attacked by mutinous members
of your organisation, I rallied immediately to your defence. I also did you a good turn
in respect of the Charter purporting to be from the "French Rosicrucians in Toulouse",
by pointing out that if they had mastered all the secrets of Nature, those of elementary
rules of French grammar still baffled them, so that you wisely withdrew the
document. It is not the only occasion on which it seems that your good faith has been
abused. Some Latinists deplore some note paper.
And I have not forgotten that when two delegates of the 33° (Sovereign Grand
Council of Detroit) visited the Coast in 1919, you spoke very highly of me. But I have
never in any way interfered with you or challenged your jurisdiction, and I have only
approached you this year because of the attacks upon you by this swindling imposter
Swinburne Clymer. And I think that any divergence in opinion between us as to the
propriety of our respective methods should not be a cause of controversy. I may point
out that it seems doubtful whether you have read more than a small part of my
published work; and certainly none of the secret and unpublished writings, which are
of far greater importance. So I will ask you to reserve judgment. As to your own
methods, I quite understand for instance your use of Franz Hartmann's book. Being,
as you are, in partibus gentium, it is perhaps natural that you should find that the only
way to get elementary ideas into the heads of the natives is to do it as you have been
doing. There is no way of making such people value what is of importance except by
making them pay for it. In England you would be snowed under with law-suits and
prosecutions within a few months.
But it does seem to me that the attacks upon you have not been without effect,
and the evidence of your connection with me is quite impossible to withstand. It is not
only the question of the Diploma from Reuss, which is apparently the only document
on which you rely, but of your having adopted numerous phrases, symbols and other
matter from the Equinox, which is definitely my own. There are also numerous
references in the letters and documents reproduced by Clymer which prove to any
independent party that his contention is correct in this particular matter. Now I do not
in the least object to your adopting 'Crowley's Black Cross', (so-called because it is far
older than Crowley, and because it contains all the coulours of the rainbow) but it
does not mean that if Crowley is such a terrible person, you are tarred with the same
brush. Whereas if you helped to put him forward as the celebrated Virgin Martyr, you
will yourself appear at the close of the operation "whiter than the white wash on the
wall." I am urging these matters upon you, because I feel certain that you are in
danger of being hounded down and your usefulness destroyed. I cannot impress too
strongly upon you that when it comes to a scrap in a law-court the judge will see the
difference between such serious literature as The Equinox, and ad captandum
advertisements such as Clymer quotes on page 79 of his disgusting libel.
One of the ways in which you can help me is by informing me whether
Clymer has any following in England. If I can find anybody who publishes (that is,
according to English law, who hands to any other person not protected by legal
privilege) a copy of Clymer's pamphlet, I will send him to prison in two shakes of a
Paschal Lamb's whis ers. And such procedure would immediately destroy any
influence he may have in the U.S.A.
I will indicate to Mr. Schneider the lines on which these operations may be
carried out.
Yours in the bonds of the Order
(signed) 666
(Separate note attached to the above)
Excerpt from Therion's letter of Dec. 2nd;
"It is perhaps best not to admit having seen the Lewis stuff, as I go for him rather
heavily from the last page. Your job is, of course, to get him to put his organisation in
England at my disposal for the purpose of the vindication, and to guarantee the costs
for the best legal assistance."


  1. LES ROSE-CROIX DU NOUVEAU MONDE - Aux sources du rosicucrianisme moderne, Claire Vigne Editrice, Paris, 1996.
  2. Cf. his book The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America, vol. I, 464 p., and vol. II, 959 p., Philosophical Publishing Co., Quakertown, 1935, dealing mainly with the conditions of his controversy with Lewis during the 1930's.
  3. The letter heading indicates Lewis'address and job at the time: « Advertising specialist» (half torn). The date of document 4. indicates that it was transmitted to the N.Y.P.L. afterwards.
  4. Cf. Cosmic Mission Fulfilled by Ralph Lewis.
  5. This charter was presented in A.M.O.R.C. Mystic Triangle, September 1921, p. 1, but was not reproduced until November 1933 when a facsimile of the charter appeared for the first time in the Rosicrucian Digest.
  6. See in particular Peter-R. König's web site ( and «Les relations avec Crowley, Reuss et l'Ordre du Temple Oriental (O.T.O.)» in the chapter on H. Spencer Lewis of my book Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde.
  7. Op. cit., p. 31. The «conspirators» did reproach inter alia to Lewis his connection with Aleister Crowley and «sex-magick».
  8. The complete letter is reproduced on The supposed «original» document of A.M.O.R.C. without the words «O.T.O» addressed to Peter-R. König is reproduced here. It also appeared on A.M.O.R.C. website [defunct now], and was published the special issue of the French magazine «Actualité de l'histoire mystérieuse», April 1998, dedicated to the Rose Cross.
  9. Lewis was an experimental photographer and an accomplished artist - see for instance his portrait drawing of Francis Bacon as Imperator of A.M.O.R.C. in the XVIIth century style reproduced in A.M.O.R.C. Mastery of life and Rosicrucian Manual.
  10. We shall not discuss here the affirmation made by Lewis concerning his alleged initiation in Toulouse in 1909 as this is another story (see my book for details).
  11. The Authentic and Complete History of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, compiled by H. Spencer Lewis, F.R.C., sixth installment, in The American Rosae Crucis, July 1916, p. 12-13 (cf. reprints of American Rosae Crucis, 1916 and 1917, by Kessinger Publishing LLC).
  12. Ibid. p. 11.
  13. Ibid. p. 13. But why a "Black Book" and what about the real purpose of such a book?
  14. Cf. ibid. and Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde
  15. Ibid., p. 12. See also Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Light of Egypt, A.M.O.R.C., 1927-28, p. 18-20.
  18. The American Rosae Crucis, July 1916, p. 13.
  19. Rosicrucian Documents, A.M.O.R.C., p. 6. The «hereunto subscribed» officers of the Grand Lodge are four: Grand Master General (H. S. Lewis); Matre General (curiously there is no signature here whereas Lewis always has always affirmed that Mrs. Banks-Stacey was «the first matre of the Order»...); Secretary General (T. Kiimalehto); Deputy Master General (N. Storm).
  20. The American Rosae Crucis, July 1916, p. 13.
  21. The argument of A.M.O.R.C. according to which the «minutes of meetings» do not make reference to O.T.O. is not receivable because it has been noticed many times that Lewis'declarations - particularly in matter of his occult filiation - were often incomplete or contradictory and we see no reason why these official minutes should break this rule. I do not believe either in the theory of A.M.O.R.C. making of the Pronunziamento in the N.Y.P.L. a «forgery». Indeed, who would have had an interest in forging this charter with the mention «O.T.O.» in order to «let people think O.T.O. to be originator of A.M.O.R.C.» as said in A.M.O.R.C.'s letter of February 22nd, 1999 ? Lewis opponents in the 1930's and Clymer - see in Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde my chapter on the «Procès de l'A.M.O.R.C.» ? But we have seen how Clymer did ignore the existence of this early History of A.M.O.R.C. in the N.Y.P.L. otherwise he would have referred to it in his Rosicrucian Fraternity in America. So this theory is not valid either.
  22. This assumption is not shared of course by the authorities of A.M.O.R.C. who still claim in a new letter dated January 5th, 2001 that this OTO mention is a forgery and in no way Kiimalehto's writing. According to them, the First American Manifesto of which there is question in the April Charter would not even be the preliminary Pronunziamento issued on February 8th, but an other American Pronunziamento Number One issued "as a result of a meeting of the Supreme Council held in June 1915." So we have asked A.M.O.R.C. to send us a copy of this other First American Pronunziamento for examination (a picture of it was apparently published during 1917 in a document called A book for all members where also appears a copy of the First American Charter). Nevertheless we do not understand very well how there might exist two different American Pronunziamentos Number One, the first issued on February 1915 and the second on June 1915... This seems rather confusing indeed.
  23. Ibid.
  24. To the question: "What was the date of the establishment of the Masonic Rosaecrucian Degree in France ?", Lewis did answer without hesitation that: "The first French R. C. Manifesto was issued in Paris in 1623. It called for a 'General Assembly' of all Masons who belonged to the 'Order of Rose Croix' to attend a convocation in Lyons on June 23rd, 1623, at 10 P.M. (sic). Over 700 were in attendance" (The American Rosae Crucis, February 1916, p. 30).
  25. Ibid. The story of the alleged initiation in Toulouse - note that there is just a question in the article above of the French town of Lyon, not Toulouse - was not published before May 1916 when it first appeared under the title: «A Pilgrim's Journey to the East - And I journeyed to the Eastern Gate by H. Spencer Lewis, F.R.C., Imperator of the Order in America» (Fifth Installment of the Complete and Authentic History of the Order, The American Rosae Crucis, May 1916, pp. 12-27). We ignore if this was privately issued to members of A.M.O.R.C. at an earlier stage.
  26. The name of Raynaud E. de Bellcastle-Ligne, which Lewis claimed afterwards to be his mentor in France, did not appear before January 1916 when his name was first mentioned in The American Rosae Crucis as the Associate Editor (p. 31).
  27. Cf. supra. Note that there is a question here of "Thotmis IV." whereas Lewis will refer afterwards to "Thotmis III.".
  28. The Globe, February 24th, 1915.
  29. CROMAAT, A Monthly Monograph for the Members of A.M.O.R.C., Volume D, 1918, p. 26 (reprint by Kessinger Publishing, LLC).
  30. CROMAAT D, p. 27. It shall be noticed that in this statement it is question of "France" also, whereas previous Lewis' declarations about Mrs. Stacey only concerned India and Egypt.
  31. "Mrs. May Banks Stacey", by David T. Rocks, in Theosophical History, VI/4, October 1996.
  32. When she died, Mrs. Stacey's age was not seventy-six as Lewis reports but only seventy-two.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Cf. supra. Mrs. Stacey's first meeting with Lewis is supposed to have happened on November 25th, and Crowley arrived in New York by the Lusitania on October 24th, 1914.
  35. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, an Autohagiography edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, Arkana Books, 1989, p. 792.
  36. Ibid.
  37. The Great Beast - The Life of Aleister Crowley by John Symonds, Rider and Company, London, 1947, p. 123.
  38. Ibid., p. 126. Remember that Crowley had been admitted in Reuss' O.T.O. in 1910 and appointed National Grand Master for Great Britain and Ireland in 1912, which included authority over an English language rite of the lower degrees of O.T.O. which was given the name of Mysteria Mystica Maxima (M.'.M.'.M.'.). After having been initiated during the year 1898 in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley had built in 1907 his own system, the Astrum Argentum or A.·. A.·. (see in particular the History of Ordo Templi Orientis by Sabazius X° and AMT IX°, O.T.O. U.S. Grand Lodge, and O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick by Theodor Reuss & Aleister Crowley, edited & compiled by A. R. Naylor, introduction by Peter-R. König, I-H-O Books, Thame, England, 1999).
  39. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, p. 768. Concerning details of Crowley's life in America and his involvement in pro-German politics, see also The Great Beast, pp. 123-144.
  40. Op. cit. Sotheby's catalogue, English Literature and History, An Important Collection of Manuscripts by Aleister Crowley, Sale LN6731, 16 & 17 December 1996, London, p. 138, n° 344 (estimation for the document was £ 600-800 but the auction raised up to £ 4,600).
  41. The American Rosae Crucis, July 1916, p. 15. Lewis claims that the "signatures - some of them of prominent men in military and governmental affairs of France, are accompanied by their official marks", hence "R.F.R.C." which stands for "République Française Rose-Croix" (sic). Lewis says in his article that the document was issued on September 30, 1915, but does not show it in the magazine. The document is much questionable as I have shown in Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde, p. 114.
  42. The American Rosae Crucis, November 1917, p. 223.
  43. The American Rosae Crucis, November 1917, p. 229, and December 1917, p. 249.
  44. The Sun, June 19th, 1918. Lewis was released soon after and the charge retired. NY detectives had seized at A.M.O.R.C. a certain Pronunziamento R.C.R.F. N° 978,601 which The Sun describes as follows: "The document is adorned with a number of crude seals, dated Toulouse, France, September 20, 1916, and signed by one Jean Jordain." This seems to be a document different from the Pronunziamento R.F.R.C. N° 987,432 above described, and it probably complemented it.
  45. Ibid., Sotheby's catalogue, p. 139 and Crowley's address reproduced herewith. People at A.M.O.R.C. contest in their letter of January 5th, 2001 that this address was prepared by Crowley in the year 1918 and say that the document is "probably antedated", being part of the "Crowley's strategy for racketing A.M.O.R.C.".
  46. Cf. The Great Beast, pp. 285-289. The sale of 1996 at Sotheby's concerned the Caplan and Kerman collection. Even Crowley's late secretary Gerald Yorke did ignore this document (cf. Yorke's letter to R. S. Clymer - see
  47. Cf. The Fatherland.
  48. This is also why probably Lewis no longer refered afterwards to his American Pronunziamento Number One, as for many the O.T.O. mention on the document would habe been clearly an indication of his relationship with Crowley at one time.
  49. This reply from Crowley to Lewis dates back to 2nd December, 1935, and has been recently discovered by Peter-R. König. It is reproduced in extenso at the end of this article. We may hope that the first letter from Crowley to Lewis, and Lewis' answer, will be also discovered soon.
  50. Op. cit.
  51. Cf. supra.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Letter from Aleister Crowley to Arnoldo Krumm-Heller dated 28th December, 1936, p. 1, which has also been discovered by our friend König. Krumm-Heller founded another Rosicrucian order in South America (see for details).
  54. This is a reference to Clymer's RFIA and concerns Reuss' Diploma sent to Lewis in 1921 (see infra for details).
  55. Letter of January 13rd, 1936 from Crowley to F. M. Spann, Long Island (Crowley's collection, Manuscripts Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana). Italics are ours.
  56. The Memorandum was attached to Crowley's letter of January 28th, 1936 to Spann (ibid.). The "documentary corroboration" is a reference to the secret correspondence between Crowley and Lewis there has just been question supra.There was no suit to this Memorandum which legally had no chance of success.
  57. Cromaat E, 1918, pp. 43-49.
  58. Cromaat F, 1918, p. 12-13 (see also infra).
  59. Cromaat G, 1918, p. 3 & 6.
  60. Ibid., p. 4.
  61. The Triangle, September 29th, 1921, p. 1. Of course, most of these titles do not appear as such on the charter and many have been invented by Lewis. One understands then why Lewis only reproduced the charter a long time afterwards.
  62. Cf. supra the A.M.O.R.C. letter to Peter-R. König.
  63. Cf. Peter R.-König "Birth and Development of the O.T.O." in O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick, p. 27.
  64. Ibid., p. 1. Concerning the original T.A.W.U.C. project dated October 1921

  65. Ibid., p. 2
  66. See in particular Peter-R. König, Das Beste von Heinrich Tränker, A.R.W., 1996. After Reuss' death, Tränker automatically became Lewis' superior in the O.T.O. as Lewis was part of the "German Sanctuary" and Tränker was X° of Germany.
  67. Tränker's first letter to Lewis is dated February 15th, 1930. It has been discovered by Peter-R. König who comments: "Obviously it was Lewis who first contacted Tränker, as Tränker thanked for prospectus, etc. In this letter, Tränker expressed doubt whether Lewis was able to represent the Rosicrucians in the U.S.A. as they should be a completely German body. Tränker signed as 'Nationaler Grossmeister des O.T.O. für Deutschland, Österreich and aller deutschsprechenden Laender' which automatically made him O.T.O. superior of Lewis. Tränker also expressed that there was no need to exchange Charters or mutual permissions/recognitions".
  68. The Rosicrucian Digest, September 1930, pp. 234-235.
  69. We are a large step further here in the exaggeration process than at the time of Reuss' Gage of Amity. But this was not Lewis' first story of this style. Indeed, already in The Light of Egypt, 1927, the Imperator had pretended in a similar fantastic story that, "when the earliest European explorers were wending their way to the Pacific Coast, hunting for the 'land of gold' (...) the Rosicrucian Fraternity sent seven of its highest initiates to the West on a secret mission. They accompanied one of the early Spanish exploration expeditions and carried with them many caskets of rarer devices, papers, jewels and a sealed sarcophagus. These things finally found a resting and hiding place on a small peninsular jutting into the Pacific, which is a montainous part of the ancient continent of Lemuria (...) In this quiet and peaceful place on the Pacific shore, a crude temple was built of adobe, adjoining a cave described on the maps they possessed. In the cave the sarcophogus, jewels and documents were placed, and the entrance closed to form a tomb and a vault (...) It was to this cave and the ruined temple that Dr. Lewis journeyed in 1918, performed the rituals and rites, followed the formulas, and brought to light the well-preserved 'body' of C.R.C. again (...) Dr. Lewis quietly returned to New York and prepared the translation of the documents he brought back with him (sic), and in other ways arranged for the celebration of the Revelation at the Great Convention, which was held at New York in the summer of 1918." (op. cit., p. 8)
  70. See here the reproduction of the first and last page with the signatures of Tränker/Recnartus and Lewis, who endorsed the English version of the document on September 29th, 1930.
  71. Ibid., König, pp. 32 and 357-369.
  72. Cf. the lamens herewith. Lewis' lamen is well the same than Crowley's and has little in common with the original by Péladan. A.M.O.R.C. no longer uses this lamen today.
  73. A.M.O.R.C. Master Monograph, Degree 11, Monograph 10, p. 4.
  74. Da Capo Press, New York, 1982 (first published in New York, 1850, by Fowlers and Wells).
  75. Cf. for details Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde. Most of the books by Atkinson/Ramacharaka have been reprinted by Kessinger and Health Research. For an overwiew of the New Thought movement, see in particular the excellent presentation by Alan Anderson: "The New Thought Movement: A Link between East and West"
  76. Ibid.
  77. I.N.R.I. Hermetic Science College. British Section. Established Under the Auspices of the Order of Oriental Templars (O.T.O.), 1906, pp. 6-8. Cf. Peter-R. König, Der Grosse Theodor-Reuss Reader, ARW, München, 1997.
  78. The Secret Heritage, A.M.O.R.C., 1935, p. 26.
  79. It is the nature of the Rosicrucian teachings which differentiates A.M.O.R.C. today (teachings have been largely modified and modernized under the leadership of the new French Imperator, Christian Bernard) from its schismatic offsprings like the Confraternity Rosae+Crucis founded by the past American Imperator Gary Stewart or the French S.E.T.I. (Sauvegarde des Enseignements Traditionnels et Initiatiques - known today as the «Cénacle de la Rose-Croix») from Jean-Pierre July, who both want to uphold Lewis' original teachings. Concerning the history of these orders, see Marcel Roggeman's website Geschiedenis van de occulte en mystieke broederschappen:
  80. Riesener's interview reported by Clymer, Rosicrucian Fraternity in America, Part Two, p. 429.
  81. On this question see the excellent article by our friend Serge Caillet in the French Masonic magazine 'Renaissance Traditionnelle', N° 101/102, January-April 1995, pp. 72-87, intitled 'L'affaire Spencer Lewis'. A new edition of Caillet's book on 'Sâr Hieronymus et la FUDOSI' is also announced soon.
  82. At the end of his letter of January 5th, 2001 the archivist of A.M.O.R.C.-France concludes: «Whatever the group you consider, concerning either Rosicrucianism, Free-Masonry, or any other traditional organization, one is quickly confronted with myths and enigmas. One might regret indeed that many founders of initiatory societies did prefer to refer to often confused historical elements in order to justify their mission, rather than to rely upon their spiritual experience.» We agree plainly with this point of view at the strict condition that the founder of any such traditional organization does not try to make people believe that these mythical elements - or a psychic or mystical experience which should not be judged as far as it is presented for what it is - represent established historical facts. Indeed, as soon as one refers in external publications to tangible documents or facts which are presented as being part of an objective reality, one should be ready as a consequence to accept that they are liable to be submitted to a critical and historical analysis. Otherwise this would consist in a much objectionable mental or intellectual manipulation. In Free-Masonry for instance, the myth of Hiram is always presented clearly as being a 'legend' : to describe the Hiramic Legend in the form of established historical facts would lead to an unacceptable fraud.
  83. Reproduced also in P.R. Koenig: Noch Mehr Materialien zum OTO, Bavaria 2000

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