The Lost Stepchild

The Tale of the Societas Rosicruciana in America

by R.A. Gilbert

(First published in The Proceedings of the Golden Dawn Conference 1997, Bristol, England: The Hermetic Research Trust, 1998. Presented here with the author’s permission. Mr. Gilbert is a leading authority on esoteric societies. His work provides a balanced look at the history of our Society which, like any worthwhile human endeavor, has had its ups and downs. There is no need for us to sugarcoat our history, avoid controversial topics, or place our founders on lofty, superhuman pedestals. “Truth alone shall prevail.” – Soror R.I., Imperatrix, S:.R:.I:.A:., 2015.) 

The philosophy and ideals of the Rosicrucian movement reached the New World in 1694 when Johannes Kelpius and the first wave of German Pietists settled on the Wissahickon River in what is now a suburb of Philadelphia1. But the enthusiasm of individuals was not transformed into an organised body and almost two hundred years would pass before a true Rosicrucian Society was founded in America.

The English Masonic Rosicrucian Society, the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was founded in 1866 when two English freemasons, Robert Wentworth Little and William James Hughan, were admitted to an already established Scottish Rosicrucian body at Edinburgh2. The Society rapidly expanded and in 1873 the earlier, but by now moribund, Scottish Rosicrucian body was revived under English control. In 1816 this Society again became independent but it was not the first sovereign body to spring from the English parent3. Four years earlier Prince Demetrius Rhodocanakis, a colourful and controversial figure in the Victorian Masonic world, had been made an honorary Magus of the Society and had proceeded to establish – on paper, it had no active existence – a Societas Rosicruciana in Graecia. But if this illegitimate offspring was of no interest to the S.R.I.A. it caught the eye of John Yarker who pressed it into service in his activities as a masonic empire­ builder.

During the early months of 1876 Yarker was engaged in importing from Canada the Swedenborgian Rite – or Primitive and Original Rite of Symbolic Freemasonry, to give it its full title. This he obtained from another collector of masonic rites, Col. W.J.B. Macleod Moore and perhaps as part of the quid pro quo, Yarker ensured that Prince Rhodocanakis (with whom he had extensive masonic dealings) should make Moore a Magus and issue a charter for ‘The Rosicrucian Society of Canada’. This charter wits issued on 19 September 1876 and within a year the first college – Dominion College No. 1 – was formed and a High Council established to govern the Society.

It was this Society that in April 1880 wrote to Albert Pike, who wished to learn more of this new Rosicrucian body, to ‘give you the grade of magus, or IX the highest, and attach you to our College as all Honorary Member’. The Canadians went on to advise Pike that they were ‘quite willing and even desirous to grant to you and two other associates that you may name (whom we will create Hon. IX of Canada) a charter acknowledging you to be the supreme and independent College of the Rosicrucian Society of the United State, the territory to be embraced to be the same as that at present included in the jurisdiction of the S.J. of the A. and A.S. Rite’. Moore also informed Pike that he had been pipped at the post in his desire to found a Rosicrucian College in the USA: ‘I believe the Society has an existence and an organised body in the United States. I think Frater Meyer of Philadelphia has instituted a college. I think he derives his authority from England as he entered the Society at York, and he is an Hon. Member of the College there’4. Indeed he was, but it was not from England that Meyer obtained his authority.

Although Charles Meyer was a member of the English Rosicrucian Society he failed to obtain an English warrant for his projected college at Philadelphia. Instead it was granted by the Scottish Society which was eager to colonise America. Its High Council had issued a charter for an Illinois College in 1878, but this proved to be still-born and so on 12 December 1879, they happily chartered the Pennsylvania College. Within six months they had issued further charters for colleges in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland, all of which eventually became dormant. Only one of them, the Massachusetts College, would revive – albeit to find itself split into two vastly different components. But for now let us return to Albert Pike.

With four Colleges established the next move was to institute a Rosicrucian Society of the United States of America. This was done in 1880, not once but twice: on 17 May it was established in theory by Albert Pike (with himself as Archi Magis), and on 21 September in the real world at Boston, as the Societas Rosicruciana in the United States of America, with Charles E. Meyer as Supreme Magus. Pike does not appear on the first list of High Council Officers but two years later was elected ‘Honorary Past Supreme Magus’, which office he cheerfully accepted – pointing out in his reply to Meyer’s official letter that he had ‘determined to permit to become dormant the Grand Body for the United States of the Rosicrucian Society’ in order ‘to avoid dispute’5.

Pike thus passes out of the Rosicrucian tale. But why had he come into it? The reason was simply that both Macleod Moore and Meyer wished to use his remarkable gifts as a ritualist to reconstruct the ceremonies of the S.R.I.A. and to fashion something more appropriate to the work of practical Rosicrucians. ‘You can’, wrote Moore, ‘Alter, add to, change or abolish the rituals as you may see fit. Indeed it is very desirable that you should do so, as it must be confessed that what rituals we at present have are very poor affairs. If you will take the matter in hand and bring your store of Rosicrucian and Hermetic learning to bear on the matter, you will confer the greatest favour on the Society generally’.6

For good or ill Pike did nothing with the rituals but his belief that a Rosicrucian Society should be exactly that is clear from the second of his proposed Rules for the Rosicrucian Society of the United States of America:

It is not masonic. Its field of study and action is far wider than that of Free masonry, with which it has no other connection than this, that it selects its members among the Masonic Brotherhood.7

If we may judge by the content of the papers read at meetings of the Massachusetts College (the only active College) other masonic Rosicrucians agreed with him: the emphasis of the Society in its early days was markedly hermetic rather than masonic – and it was a determination to maintain this emphasis in the resuscitated body that eventually led to a schism that has persisted to the present day.

During its sixteenth year of active life the Massachusetts College admitted thirty-three members, the most active being Frater Sylvester Clark Gould (1840 – 1909); by a nice touch he was ‘the eighteenth Frater enrolled’8. In literary terms Gould was also the most prolific: in addition to his seven papers for the College he edited his own journal Notes and Queries at Manchester, N.H., during the 1880’s and ‘90s, and followed it with The Rosicrucian Brotherhood which survived from 1907 until his death in 1909.

Gould’s attitude to Rosicrucianism is summed up in his paper ‘The Rosicrucians in the United States’ that he printed in The Rosicrucian Brotherhood in July 1908. ‘It was not necessary’, he wrote, ‘to be identified with a Lodge, Society, or Order to be a Rosicrucian. There have been many such in even this country; there are many such today, but the world does not know them, neither are they members of organised societies, but we know some of them. Suffice it to say we became one in the ‘50s, the theosophical sum of which year is 16, but no matter here how, and identified ourself with the English Order, February 10, 1885, in Boston, so as to be in touch with other congenial spirits, and other avenues of fraternal strength.’ (Vol. II, No.3. p108)

Gould’s coyness about just how he became a Rosicrucian is frustrating, but there is little doubt as to what he meant. It is highly improbable that he took up with any Rosicrucian body in the 1850’s – in 1852, the year whose sum is 16, he would have been twelve years old – but a date in the late 1860’s makes more sense.

In 1867 Paschal Beverly Randolph – ‘Spiritualist, Rosicrucian and Sex Magician’ in his biographer’s description9 – established a ‘Rosicrucian Club’ at Boston and it is not unlikely that Gould had some informal connection with it. He was not happy with Randolph and considered that his Rosicrucian Society ‘had scarcely any fundamentals pertaining to those of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, nor even the Rosicrucians of modem times’10. These other Rosicrucians probably included Randolph’s successor, Freeman B. Dowd, ‘Grand Master Imperial Order of Rosicruciae’, whose Temples of the Rosy Cross, followed in the wake of his book of the same name (The Temple of the Rosy Cross, San Francisco, 1882) and with whose organisation Gould was on friendly terms (he was an honorary member of the High Council of Dowd’s Temple). They would not, however, have included ‘one of the Apponyi family of Austria’ who figures in the various versions of Henry Parsell’s Outlines of Mystical and Rosicrucian History as one who, ‘realising that Frater Gould was not receiving true esoteric Rosicrucian work in Massachusetts College’, ‘conferred upon him the grades of the Continental Rosicrucian Brotherhood up to and including the Ninth Degree, and also presented him with a Mark’. At least Parsell had the decency to qualify this supposed meeting with the words ‘how and where I know not’.

The sticking point for Gould, as far as Randolph was concerned, was the sensuality of Randolph’s brand of Rosicrucianism, which was absent from Dowd’s version even though he had been one of Randolph’s foremost disciples. Awareness of the importance of sexual polarity in ceremonial working was one thing, but active sex magic (if that is what it truly was) was quite another. When Gould sought to revive the dormant masonic Rosicrucian Society he wished to incorporate occultism and to open membership to both sexes while keeping out the sexual philosophy that had bedevilled the earlier non­masonic bodies. This last wish was destined not to be granted.

If Gould is to be believed the Massachusetts College had been dormant since 1896: ‘The untimely decease of four of its leading spirits within a few years so disheartened many of the Fraters that it11 became inactive, and has not yet [1908] recovered, although several efforts have been made to revive it’. While all this inactivity was going on the parent body, the Societas Rosicruciana in the United States, maintained a nominal existence on paper – although Harold Voorhis’s claim that there is ‘ample evidence’ for its meeting at ‘irregular intervals’ between 1896 and 1908 has no documentary support ­and from 1911 onwards began fitfully to stir itself in the resurrection of old and the propagation of new and emphatically masonic Rosicrucian Colleges. But by then it was too late: Gould had made his final effort and a completely new Rosicrucian body had come into being to preserve the hermetic as opposed to the masonic traditions of the old Massachusetts College.

In 1906 Gould had been approached by George Winslow Plummer (1876 – 1944), a young New Jersey mason who had been directed to Gould as a result of his seeking advice from William Wynn Westcott, the Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A., about masonic Rosicrucianism in America12. Over the course of the next two years Gould came to look upon Plummer as his natural successor, and on some unrecorded date during the winter of 1908-9,

‘Brother Plummer met Frater Gould in Boston and received at his hands initiation up to and including the Ninth Degree, and was also given the custody of all rituals, and memoranda relating thereto which Frater Gould had acquired from the Adept Apponyi, as well as from his previous years of research and correspondence with a world-wide circle of students and occultists’.

Thus fortified Plummer began at once to work towards the ‘formation of a reconstructed body in the United States, a body which should be based upon the broadest principles of the true Rosicrucian Art, eschewing fads, fancies and isms, and opening its doors to all true seekers’.

Thus began the present Societas Rosicruciana In America13, But not quite as Gould envisioned. Admittedly, it possessed the ‘rituals, traditions, landmarks, customs and practices as carefully gathered by Frater Gould’, but it held them ‘for purposes, as it now appears, which were to far transcend even his liberal concepts’. Initially, however, Plummer observed masonic niceties. He wrote to the S.R.I.A. requesting a charter and in their reply of 21 June 1910, ‘the English body sent forms for organising colleges’, but they also requested from Plummer, ‘signs and words of recognition’ which he could have given (he had Gould’s manuscript copies of the official S.R.I.U.S. rituals of the four grades of the First Order) had he not felt that the requests ‘were such that no obligated Frater could meet them through correspondence’. A less kind interpretation would be that he was asked for the signs of the Ninth Grade, the ritual of which he did not possess. In the absence of the original letters, however, charity requires us to allow that Plummer acted from integrity rather than from ignorance.

Having failed in his attempt to obtain recognition from the S.R.I.A. Plummer determined to act independently. On 11 December 1911 he set up ‘a preliminary meeting for instruction and organisation’, at his home, 82 Columbia Avenue, Grantwood, New Jersey. Eleven days later Grantwood College, as it now was in the hermetic world, held its First Regular Convocation, following this with the first meeting of the newly established High Council of the Societas Rosicruciana in America on 21 May 1912. What was next needed was a foundation in the everyday world – which came on 12 January 1912 when the Society of Rosicrucians in America was incorporated in the State of New York, giving its stated objects as:

The study and teaching of moral philosophy and ethical principles, through the exploration of the archaeological, historical and traditional subjects of ancient and aboriginal societies such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Druidism and other arcane organisations.

But the new society was now in the position of the buried atheist: ‘All dressed up and no place to go’; more than ever it needed a ritual.

The members would not use the old rituals of the S.R.I.U.S., and could not use those of the S.R.I.A.: the English Society had finally cast them adrift in 1912 when it gave recognition to the newly revived and purely masonic ‘original Rosicrucian Society in America, which was an offshoot of [the S.R.I.A.]’14. Plummer, however, was already looking elsewhere. In September and October of 1912 he was writing to Alelster Crowley to enquire about membership of the Argenteum Astrum and to solicit free copies of The Equinox. Crowley replied by proxy in the person of his American disciple and mistress, Victoria Cremers whose rambling letter to Plummer (25 November 1912) told him that, so far as Rosicrucianism Was concerned, ‘the interest of charlatans leaves us cold and indifferent’ .

Unquashed by this dismissal, Plummer persisted and on 23 March 1913 Crowley himself replied hinting at the possibility of ‘cementing the bonds of fraternity between our various bodies’. Later in the same year Plummer received a charter from the O.T.O. but he made no use of it, and by 1917 the ‘degenerate’ ‘Saint Edward Aleister Crowley’ was ‘dropt’ from the roll of members and considered to be ‘officially deceast’ (Plummer used reformed spelling) because he was ‘said to be under indictment in England for Sodomy and Treason’. What Plummer had wanted from Crowley was what he found in the pages of The Equinox: the rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

These were rapidly pressed into service, modified, mixed judiciously with parts of the First Order Grade rituals of the S.R.I.U.S., flavoured with Craft masonic ceremonial and turned out as the nine degree rituals of the Societas Rosicruciana in America. They are, to say the least, an eclectic mix and somewhat wordy, perhaps best described as picturesque. Plummer clearly had an eye for spectacle and while he was not a ritualist of genius he was certainly inventive; to the degree rituals he added, in 1917, The Mass of the Four Elements, ‘As celebrated in the Societas Rosicruciana in America, and in Accordance with the Rites and Ceremonies of the Most Holy Order of the Ruby Rose and the Golden Cross and the First Rosicrucian Church of America, Incorporated.’ However odd they may now seem, the members of these various bodies were quite content with the rituals that Plummer provided.

And who were these members? Initially they were all men, but by 1916 women were regularly admitted and the Society was expanding. Early in 1914 Grantwood College was metamorphosed into Metropolitan College and moved to New York City where it met in various masonic premises. Two years later, on 23 June 1916, a second college was chartered for Washington DC, to be followed by colleges at San Francisco (West Gate No.5, 1917); Freetown, Sierra Leone (Freetown No. 6, 1917); Atlanta (Phoenix No.7, 1918); Spokane, Washington (Mizpah No.8, 1920); Yakima, Washington (Yakima No. 10, 1921); Detroit (Trinity No. 11, 1921) and Indianapolis (Rosencreutz No. 12, 1923).

The would be Rosicrucians who flocked into these colleges (by 1919 Metropolitan College had reached its statutory limit of 144 members) sought more than rituals – and more was what they found. Besides the ‘Elementary and Advanced Astrological Classes’, members were provided with private lessons on esoteric subjects and public essays in the Society’s journal, Mercury, that began publication in January 1916. In addition there were Annual Pilgrimages to sites of Rosicrucian interest in New England, New York and Canada (usually a combination of natural wonders and the graves of prominent Rosicrucians such as Col. Macleod Moore and S.C. Gould) and the services of the First Rosicrucian Church of America, which was constituted on 24 April 19l8. But the Society’s progress was not always smooth.

In July 1916 Plummer had offered his resignation from Metropolitan College for reasons unstated, only to have the offer refused by the members of an investigating commission who found ‘that statements…made affecting the moral character and private life of Frater Khei [i.e. Plummer]’ were ‘absurd, baseless and malicious’ and who resolved to ‘extend to Frater Khei its expressions of fraternal goodwill and implicit confidence in his personal integrity and moral character’. What lay behind this episode is unknown but ‘dishonest charges’ had been made by Marion Hamilton Carter whose ‘Resignation’ offered in May was accepted on 5 July 1916 ‘without regrets’. It was also noted that she engaged in ‘subsequent activities in trying to discredit the Order and some of its members’. In this she must have met with some success as four members either resigned or were expelled later in the same year – including two who had earlier exonerated Plummer but now resigned in a ‘discreditable and theatrical manner’. The lacunae in this affair are tantalising indeed.

Soon after this members of the Society made overtures to Edward Brown, F.B. Dowd’s successor as Grand Master of the Temple of the Rosy Cross. Brown had urged S. C. Gould ‘to undertake the organisation of a body’ to preserve the ‘rituals and traditions of the Brotherhood’ and looked upon the S.R.I.A. with favour, so that when in 1919 a ‘fraternal call was made on Frater Eulis [i.e. Dowd]’, ‘the entente cordial between the two organisations [was] more firmly cemented’ and Brown was made an honorary member of Metropolitan College. And this to the fury of R.S. Clymer, head of the Rosicrucian Foundation, based at Quakertown, Pennsylvania, who saw himself as the true heir to the Randolph-Dowd succession and next in line after Brown’s death. Brown, however, saw things in a different light – he thought that Clymer ‘has to some degree harmed the public conception of the Rosy Cross and its ideals’15. Thus when Clymer fulminated in a most intemperate manner about Plummer’s book Rosicrucian Symbology, the author simply referred his publisher – J.W. Robertson of Macey Publishing, who was a member of the S.R.I.A. – to Dr. Brown. No further rant was forthcoming and later correspondence from Clymer was much more friendly.

Such squabbles did not affect the rank and file of the membership who were more concerned with their advancement in hermetic knowledge. This covered ‘Occultism, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism and Esoteric Freemasonry’ and culminated, for advanced adepts, in the twelve lessons in Spiritual Alchemy. For those who made ‘meritorious and satisfactory progress in the preceding Instructions’ there was the reward of eligibility for the ‘Secret Thesis devoted to the Kundalini’ – which was clearly the sexual philosophy and putative ‘sex magic’ that was restricted to members of the Tenth Degree, referred to in the Constitution of 1935 (but not in that of 1919) as ‘a Tenth Degree, the nature and conditions of which cannot be committed to writing’. Plummer’s Rosicrucian Manual of 1920 laid down that ‘Any man from the age of twenty-one, and any woman from the age of sixteen is eligible for membership’ and elsewhere implies that sexual union – which is considered to be psycho-spiritually beneficial – need not be confined within marriage: ‘With conventional marriage, occultism has nothing to do’. Promiscuity was roundly condemned, but at that time ‘advanced’ view on sexual relations were guaranteed to produce controversy. It is only surprising that Plummer was not accused more often of other nameless (or named) offences.

The Society’s sexual philosophy should not, however, be over­stressed. Other aspects of occultism were considered to be equally important and students received a balanced course of teaching – always within a Rosicrucian framework. And Plummer recognised the need to temper open-ness with caution: his early and innocuous printed documents had been replaced by others with frankly erotic seals, but in the 1920’s his naked trinity was supplanted by the Holy Grail, an unquestionably wise move. And the Society continued to grow.

Most members and Associate Members (of whom there had been over 5,000 by 1995) were United States residents but there was no bar on overseas membership: the sixth college was established in Sierra Leone, and two of the earlier members of the Metropolitan College were the English masonic scholar Capt. C.C. Adams and his wife. Nor was there any religious barrier despite the organic unity between the Society and its associated Church. The most famous non-Christian member was undoubtedly Israel Regardie who joined the Washington College in 1926 and was welcomed as a visitor to meetings of Metropolitan College during his brief sojourn in the Society. His membership may also have been the most significant event in the Society’s history. What has never been clear about Regardie’s involvement with the Golden Dawn is just how and where he was initiated. The presence of substantial slabs of Golden Dawn ritual in the S.R.I.A. ceremonies – and the open use of Golden Dawn titles on its documents; petitions, for example, were for ‘Acceptance in the Congregation of the G.D. of the Outer, Societas Rosicruciana in America’ – would have convinced Regardie of the validity of his initiation and justified his later entry into the Stella Matutina. But in the absence of further documents this must remain as speculation.

Gradually, however, overtly religious elements in the organisation came to the fore. In 1920 Plummer was ordained as a priest and immediately consecrated as a Bishop by Manuel Ferrando of the Reformed Episcopal Church (although Ferrando later denied having taken part in the ceremony), his first Rosicrucian Church of America being converted into the Universal Anglican Church. Subsequently, on 8 May 1934, he was re-ordained and consecrated by Ignatius Nichols of the American Orthodox Church. Assuming the title of Archbishop Georgius, Plummer went on to found the Holy Orthodox Church in America, with Henry Parsell (one of his earliest and most stalwart followers) as fellow Bishop with the name of Irenaeus. Since the 1930’s the ecclesiastical pre-eminence in the Society has been maintained – but not to the detriment of its female members.

Towards the end of his life Plummer married Gladys Miller, the Secretary General of his Society, and after his death, in 1944, she married Stanislaus Witowski, or rather Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow, which name he assumed when Plummer consecrated him in 1936. De Witow succeeded Plummer as both Primate and Supreme Magus, but on his death in 1969 the widow de Witow only assumed the latter until 1980 when she was herself consecrated by Herman Spruit and took the Primacy also. Mother Serena, as she was then known, passed on both offices to Sister Lucia Grosch, the present holder who had been consecrated at the same time as her predecessor. Which brings to an end both this bewildering series of consecrations and the story of the Societas Rosicruciana in America. But the end of my story is not the end of the Society.

In 1923 Henry Parsell had written to Frederick Leigh Gardner, of the English S.R.I.A., in the hope that the death of Cadbury Jones (he did not know that Cadbury Jones, who seems to have been a most obnoxious man, had been expelled from the S.R.l.A. in 1917 for attempting to foment a rebellion against Westcott) would improve the climate of fraternal relations between the two societies. Parsell pointed out that the admission of women was a stumbling block as far as the S.R.I.C.F. was concerned but hoped that the ‘Tentative Basis of Affiliation’ proposed by the American Society would prove acceptable to the English S.R.I.A

No response was forthcoming but the document deserved some consideration. It advocates autonomy of legitimate Rosicrucian bodies with affiliation to be ‘interpreted as mutual recognition of legitimacy, harmonious co-operation in whatsoever lines may be indicated, and united effort to prevent further progress of charlatanry, clandestineism and deceit now prevalent under the guise and nomenclature of pseudo-Rosicrucian organisations’. All of which is laudable and in no sense contentious. The document also deals with the problem of female members. Rosicrucian bodies that demand masonic qualification for their members would not be expected to admit lady Rosicrucians to their meetings, but the S.R.I.A. (US) would ‘freely extend the right of visitation to all regular members in good standing of all legitimate Rosicrucian Bodies, and in the Degree to which the visitants themselves may severally have attained’. It is, perhaps, a pity that English Rosicrucians did not take up the offer.

At some time in the future attitudes may change, but for now it is enough to reflect on the history of this remarkable step-child of English masonic Rosicrucianism and to admit the injustice of AE. Waite’s statement that, as a Rosicrucian body ‘it has obviously no tradition, no claim on the past and no knowledge thereof’16. On every count he was wrong.

ADDITIONAL NOTE

Subsequent to the delivery of this paper Maria Babwhasingh has discovered further information in the archives of the S.R.I.A.(U.S.) that enables precise dates to be given for the progress of Israel Regardie in the Society. Regardie makes his first appearance, in somewhat picturesque form, in the Minutes of Washington College on 21 January 1926, when the Secretary was ‘instructed to inquire of Metropolitan as to admission of a Hebrew, under age.’ That this was Regardie is confirmed by the Minutes of 18 February which record that ‘Application for membership [was] received from Israel Regardie’.

The initiation itself took place on 18 March 1926, but it was more than twelve months, on 2 June 1927, before Regardie advanced to the Grade of Zelator: ‘The Zelator Degree [sic] was conferred on Fr. Regardie’. Metropolitan College was duly notified of this but there is no further record of any advancement, or indeed any activity at all, by Fr. Regardie after this date.

Mrs. Babwhasingh also discovered many other relevant documents. These include the original letters from Westcott and Cadbury-Jones, which indicate that Plummer did not have the requisite signs of even the lower grades; correspondence between Plummer and Aleister Crowley from the years 1912 to 1916 which imply that the hostility to Crowley developed only after the United States entered World War I; and a delightful series of letters to and from H. Spencer Lewis that demonstrate clearly how great a charlatan Lewis was. It is hoped that some, if not all, of these documents will soon be published under the auspices of the S.R.I.A. (US).

Endnotes

  1. A full account of kelp ius and his successors is given in IF. Sachse, The German Pietists a/provincial pennsylvania, 1895. 
  1. The precise date was 31 December 1866. This society, which seems to have been working as early as 1857, claimed to have descended from an earlier English body concerning which no documentary evidence has ever been found.
  1. Details of the early history of the S.R.I.A. are given in T. M. Greenshill, History of the S.R.I.A., Privately Printed, 1987.
  1. The letters from Macleod Moore are quoted in H.Y.B. Voorhis, Masonic Rosicrucian Societies, New York, 1958.
  1. Pike to Meyer, 18 October 1882. The letter is reproduced in facsimile in Voorhis, op. Cit., p79.
  1. Moore to Pike, 26 April 1880. Voorhis, op. Cit., p73.
  1. Ibid. p80.
  2. The masonic Order of ‘The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite’ – in England and Scotland, ‘The Ancient and Accepted Rite’ – consists of thirty-three degrees, the eigtheenth degree being that of Rose-Croix of Heredom. Gould was admitted to the Massachusetts College on 10 February 1885.
  1. John Patrick Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph. A Nineteenth Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian and Sex magician. Albany, SUNY, 1997.
  1. Quoted in Deveny, op. Cit., p498.
  1. S.C. Gould, ‘The Rosicrucians in the United States’, pl06.
  1. Westcott’s letter to Plummer, of 17 October 1906, is referred to in Parsell’s Outlines. The whereabouts of the original are unknown.
  1. Parsell, Outlines, (typescript), p91. Quotations in the following two paragraphs are from the same source.
  1. Letter, A. Cadbury Jones (Secretary-general of the S.R.I.A.)
  1. Letter of 22 September 1917, Edward H. Brown to Henry Marston. In the archives of the S.R.I.A. (US)

16 A. E. Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, 1924, p616.