Chapter 4 – Secret Societies and Subversive Movements

THREE CENTURIES OF OCCULTISM

IT has been shown in the foregoing chapters that from very early times occult sects had existed for two purposes–esoteric and political. Whilst the Manicheans, the early Ismailis, the Bogomils, and the Luciferians had concerned themselves mainly with religious or esoteric doctrines, the later Ismailis, the Fatimites, the Karmathites, and Templars had combined secrecy and occult rites with the political aim of domination. We shall find this double tradition running through all the secret society movement up to the present day.

The Dualist doctrines attributed to the Templars were not, however, confined to this Order in Europe, but had been, as we have seen, those professed by the Bogomils and also by the Cathari, who spread westwards from Bulgaria and Bosnia to France. It was owing to their sojourn in Bulgaria that the Cathari gained the popular nickname of ” Bulgars ” or ” Bougres,” signifying those addicted to unnatural vice. One section of the Cathari in the South of France became known after 1180 as the Albigenses, thus called from the town of Albi, although their headquarters were really in Toulouse. Christians only in name, they adhered in secret to the Gnostic and Manichean doctrines of the earlier Cathari, which they would appear to have combined with Johannism, since, like this Eastern sect, they claimed to possess their own Gospel of St. John.(1)

Although not strictly a secret society, the Albigenses were divided after the secret society system into initiates and semi-initiates. The former, few in number, known as the Perfecti, led in appearance an austere life, refraining from meat and professing abhorrence of oaths or of lying. The mystery in which they enveloped themselves won for them the adoring reverence of the Credentes, who formed the great majority of the sect and gave themselves up to every vice, to usury, brigandage, and perjury, and whilst describing marriage as prostitution, condoning incest and all forms of licence.(2) The Credentes, who were probably not fully initiated into the Dualist doctrines of their superiors, looked to them for salvation through the laying-on of hands according to the system of the Manicheans.

It was amongst the nobles of Languedoc that the Albigenses found their principal support. This ” Juda of France,” as it has been called, was peopled by a medley of mixed races, Iberian, Gallic, Roman, and Semitic.(3) The nobles, very different from the ” ignorant and pious chivalry of the North,” had lost all respect for their traditions. ” There were few who in going back did not encounter some Saracen or Jewish grandmother in their genealogy.”(4) Moreover, many had brought back to Europe the laxity of morals they had contracted during the Crusades. The Comte de Comminges practised polygamy, and, according to ecclesiastical chronicles, Raymond VI, Comte de Toulouse, one of the most ardent of the Albigense Credentes, had his harem.(5) The Albigensian movement has been falsely represented as a protest merely against the tyranny of the Church of Rome ; in reality it was a rising against the fundamental doctrines of Christianity–more than this, against all principles of religion and morality. For whilst some of the sect openly declared that the Jewish law was preferable to that of the Christians,(6) to others the God of the Old Testament was as abhorrent as the ” false Christ ” who suffered at Golgotha ; the old hatred of the Gnostics and Manicheans for the demiurgus lived again in these rebels against the social order. Forerunners of the seventeenth century Libertines and eighteenth-century Illuminati, the Albigense nobles, under the pretext of fighting the priesthood, strove to throw off all the restraints the Church imposed.

Inevitably the disorders that took place throughout the South of France led to reprisals, and the Albigenses were suppressed with all the cruelty of the age–a fact which has afforded historians the opportunity to exalt them as noble martyrs, victims of ecclesiastical despotism. But again, as in the case of the Templars, the fact that they were persecuted does not prove them innocent of the crimes laid to their charge.

SATANISM

At the beginning of the fourteenth century another development of Dualism, far more horrible than the Manichean heresy of the Albigenses, began to make itself felt. This was the cult of Satanism, or black magic. The subject is one that must be approached with extreme caution, owing to the fact that on one hand much that has been written about it is the result of medival superstition, which sees in every departure from the Roman Catholic Faith the direct intervention of the Evil One, whilst on the other hand the conspiracy of history, which denies in toto the existence of the Occult Power, discredits all revelations on this question, from whatever source they emanate, as the outcome of hysterical imagination.(7) This is rendered all the easier since the subject by its amazing extravagance lends itself to ridicule.

It is, however, idle to deny that the cult of evil has alway existed ; the invocation of the powers of darkness was practised in the earliest days of the human race and, after the Christian era, found its expression, as we have seen, in the Cainites the Euchites, and the Luciferians. These are not surmises, but actual facts of history. Towards the end of the twelfth century Luciferianism spread eastwards through Styria, the Tyrol, and Bohemia, even as far as Brandenburg ; by the beginning of the thirteenth century it had invaded western Germany, and in the fourteenth century reached its zenith in that country as also in Italy and France. The cult had now reached a further stage in its development, and it was not the mere propitiation of Satanael as the prince of this world practised by the Luciferians, but actual Satanism–the love of evil for the sake of evil–which formed the doctrine of the sect known in Italy as la vecchia religione or the ” old religion.” Sorcery was adopted as a profession, and witches, not, as is popularly supposed, sporadic growths, were trained in schools of magic to practise their art. These facts should be remembered when the Church is blamed for the violence it displayed against witchcraft–it was not individuals, but a system which it set out to destroy.

The essence of Satanism is desecration. In the ceremonies for infernal evocation described by Eliphas Lévi we read : ” It is requisite to profane the ceremonies of the religion one belongs to and to trample its holiest symbols under foot.”(8) This practice found a climax in desecrating the Holy Sacrament. The consecrated wafer was given as food to mice, toads, an pigs, or defiled in unspeakable ways. A revolting description of the Black Mass may be found in Huysmans’s book Lá-bas. It is unnecessary to transcribe the loathsome details here. Suffice it, then, to show that this cult had a very real existence and if any further doubt remains on the matter, the life of Gilles de Rais supplies documentary evidence of the visible results of black magic in the Middle Ages.

Gilles de Rais was born at Machecoul in Brittany about the year 1404. The first period of his life was glorious ; the companion and guide of Jeanne d’Arc, he became Maréchal of France and distinguished himself by many deeds of valour. But after dissipating his immense fortune, largely on Church ceremonies carried out with the wildest extravagance, he was led to study alchemy, partly by curiosity and partly as a means for restoring his shattered fortunes. Hearing that Germany and Italy were the countries where alchemy flourished, he enlisted Italians in his service and was gradually drawn into the further region of magic. According to Huysmans, Gilles de Rais had remained until this moment a Christian mystic under the influence of Jeanne d’Arc, but after her death–possibly in despair–he offered himself to the powers of darkness. Evokers of Satan now flocked to him from every side, amongst them Prelati, an Italian, by no means the old and wrinkled sorcerer of tradition, but a young and attractive man of charming manners. For it was from Italy that came the most skilful adepts in the art of alchemy, astrology, magic, and infernal evocation, who spread themselves over Europe, particularly France. Under the influence of these initiators Gilles de Rais signed a letter to the devil in a meadow near Machecoul asking him for ” knowledge, power, and riches,” and offering in exchange anything that might be asked of him with the exception of his life or his soul. But in spite of this appeal and of a pact signed with the blood of the writer, no Satanic apparitions were forthcoming.

It was then that, becoming still more desperate, Gilles de Rais had recourse to the abominations for which his name has remained infamous–still more frightful invocations, loathsome debaucheries, perverted vice in every form, Sadic cruelties, horrible sacrifices, and, finally, holocausts of little boys and girls collected by his agents in the surrounding country and put to death with the most inhuman tortures. During the years 1432-40 literally hundreds of children disappeared. Many of the names of the unhappy little victims were preserved in the records of the period. Gilles de Rais met with a well deserved end : in 1440 he was hanged and burnt. So far he does not appear to have found a panegyrist to place him in the ranks of noble martyrs.

It will, of course, be urged that the crimes here described were those of a criminal lunatic and not to be attributed to any occult cause ; the answer to this is that Gilles was not a isolated unit, but one of a group of occultists who cannot all have been mad. Moreover, it was only after his invocation of the Evil One that he developed these monstrous proclivities. So also his eighteenth-century replica, the Marquis de Sade, combined with his abominations and impassioned hatred of the Christian religion.

What is the explanation of this craze for magic in Western Europe ? Deschamps points to the Cabala, ” that science of demoniacal arts, of which the Jews were the initiators,” and undoubtedly in any comprehensive review of the question the influence of the Jewish Cabalists cannot be ignored. In Spain, Portugal, Provence, and Italy the Jews by the fifteenth century had become a power ; as early as 1450 they had penetrated into the intellectual circles of Florence, and it was also in Italy that, a century later, the modern Cabalistic school was inaugurated by Isaac Luria (1533-72), whose doctrines were organized into a practical system by the Hasidim of Eastern Europe for the writing of amulets, the conjuration of devils, mystical jugglery with numbers and letters, etc.(9) Italy in the fifteenth century was thus a centre from which Cabalistic influences radiated, and it may be that the Italians who indoctrinated Gilles de Rais had drawn their inspiration from this source. Indeed Eliphas Lévi, who certainly cannot be accused of ” Anti-Semitism,” declares that ” the Jews, the most faithful trustees of the secrets of the Cabala, were almost always the great masters of magic in the Middle Ages,”(10) and suggests that Gilles de Rais took his monstrous recipes for using the blood of murdered children ” from some of those old Hebrew grimoires (books on magic)) which, if they had been known, would have sufficed to hold up the Jews to the execration of the whole earth.”(11) Voltaire, in his Henriade, likewise attributes the magical blood-rites practised in the sixteenth century to Jewish inspiration :

Dans l’ombre de la nuit, sous une vote obscure,
Le silence conduit leur assemblée impure.
A la pâle lueur d’un magique flambeau
S’élève un vil autel dressé sur un tombeau.
C’est la que des deux rois on plaça les images,
Objets de leur terreur, objets de leurs outrages.
Leur sacrilèges mains ont mêlé sur l’autel
A des noms infernaux le non de l’Éternel.
Sur ces murs ténébreux des lances sont rangées,
Dans des vases de sang leurs pointes sont plongées ;
Appareil menaçant de leur mystère affreux.
Le prêtre de ce temple est un de ces Hébreux
Qui, proscrits sur la terre et citoyens du monde,
Portent de mers en mers leur misère profonde,
Et, d’un antique ramas de superstitions,
Ont rempli dès longtemps toutes les nations, etc.
Voltaire adds in a footnote : ” It was ordinarily Jews that were made use of for magical operations. This ancient superstition comes from the secrets of the Cabala, of which the Jews called themselves the sole depositaries. Catherine de Medicis, the Maréchal d’Ancre, and many others employed Jews for these spells.”

This charge of black magic recurs all through the history of Europe from the earliest times. The Jews are accused of poisoning wells, of practising ritual murder, of using stolen church property for purposes of desecration, etc. No doubt there enters into all this a great amount of exaggeration, inspired by popular prejudice and medival superstition. Yet, whilst condemning the persecution to which the Jews were subjected on this account, it must be admitted that they laid themselves open to suspicion by their real addiction to magical arts. If ignorant superstition is found on the side of the persecutors, still more amazing superstition is found on the side of the persecuted. Demonology in Europe was in fact essentially a Jewish science, for although a belief in the spirits existed from the earliest times and has always continued to exist amongst primitive races, and also amongst the ignorant classes in civilized countries, it was mainly through the Jews that these dark superstitions were imported to the West, where they persisted not merely amongst the lower strata of the Jewish population, but formed an essential part of Jewish tradition. Thus the Talmud says :

If the eye could perceive the demons that people the universe, existence would be impossible. The demons are more numerous than we are : they surround us on all sides like trenches dug round vineyards. Every one of us has a thousand on his left hand and ten thousand on his right. The discomfort endured by those who attend rabbinical conferences . . . comes from the demons mingling with men in these circumstances. Besides, the fatigue one feels in one’s knees in walking comes from the demons that one knocks up against at every step. If the clothing of the Rabbis wears out so quickly, it is again because the demons rub up against them. Whoever wants to convince himself of their presence has only to surround his bed with sifted cinders and the next morning he will see the imprints of cocks’ feet.(12)

The same treatise goes on to give directions for seeing demon by burning portions of a black cat and placing the ashes in one’s eye : ” then at once one perceives the demons.” The Talmud also explains that devils particularly inhabit the water spouts on houses and are fond of drinking out of water-jugs, therefore it is advisable to pour a little water out of a jug before drinking, so as to get rid of the unclean part.(13)

These ideas received a fresh impetus from the publication of the Zohar, which, a Jewish writer tells us, ” from the fourteenth century held almost unbroken sway over the minds of the majority of the Jews. In it the Talmudic legends concerning the existence and activity of the shedhim (demons) are repeated and amplified, and a hierarchy of demons was established corresponding to the heavenly hierarchy. . . . Manasseh [ben Israel]’s Nishmat Hayim is full of information concerning belief in demons. . . . Even the scholarly and learned Rabbis of the seventeenth century clung to the belief.”(14)

Here, then, it is not a case of ignorant peasants evolving fantastic visions from their own scared imaginations, but of the Rabbis, the acknowledged leaders of a race claiming civilized traditions and a high order of intelligence, deliberately inculcating in their disciples the perpetual fear of demoniacal influences. How much of this fear communicated itself to the Gentile population ? It is at any rate a curious coincidence to notice the resemblances between so-called popular superstitions and the writings of the Rabbis. For example, the vile confessions made both by Scotch and French peasant women accused of witchcraft concerning the nocturnal visits paid hem by male devils(15) find an exact counterpart in passages of the Cabala, where it is said that ” the demons are both male and female, and they also endeavour to consort with human beings–a conception from which arises the belief in incubi and succubo.”(16) Thus, on Jewish authority, we learn the Judaic origin of this strange delusion.

It is clearly to the same source that we may trace the magical formul for the healing of diseases current at the same period. From the earliest times the Jews had specialized in medicine, and many royal personages insisted on employing Jewish doctors,(17) some of whom may have acquired medical knowledge of a high order. The Jewish writer Margoliouth dwells on this fact with some complacency, and goes on to contrast the scientific methods of the Hebrew doctors with the quackeries of the monks :

In spite of the reports circulated by the monks, that the Jews were sorcerers (in consequence of their superior medical skill), Christian patients would frequent the houses of the Jewish physicians in preference to the monasteries, where cures were pretended to have been effected by some extraordinary relics, such as the nails of St. Augustine, the extremity of St. Peter’s second toe, . . . etc. It need hardly be added that the cures effected by the Jewish physicians were more numerous than those by the monkish impostors.(18)

Yet in reality the grotesque remedies which Margoliouth attributes to Christian superstition appear to have been part derived from Jewish sources. The author of a further article on Magic in Hastings’ Encyclopodia goes on to say that the magical formul handed down in Latin in ancient medical writings and used by the monks were mainly of Eastern origin, derived from Babylonish, Egyptian, and Jewish magic. The monks therefore ” played merely an intermediate rôle.”(19) Indeed, if we turn to the Talmud we shall find cures recommended no less absurd than those which Margoliouth derides. For example :

The eggs of a grasshopper as a remedy for toothache, the tooth of a fox remedy for sleep, viz. the tooth of a live fox to prevent sleep and of a dead one to cause sleep, the nail from the gallows where a man was hanged, as a remedy for swelling.(20)
A strongly ” pro-Semite ” writer quotes a number of Jewish medical writings of the eighteenth century, republished as late as the end of the nineteenth, which show the persistence of these magical formul amongst the Jews. Most of these are too loathsome to transcribe ; but some of the more innocuous are as follows : ” For epilepsy kill a cock and let it putrefy.” ” In order to protect yourself from all evils, gird yourself with the rope with which a criminal has been hung.” Blood of different kinds also plays an important part : ” Fox’s blood and wolf’s blood are good for stone in the bladder, ram’s blood for colic, weasel blood for scrofula,” etc.–these to be externally applied.(21)

But to return to Satanism. Whoever were the secret inspirers of magical and diabolical practices during the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the evidence of the existence of Satanism during this long period is overwhelming and rests on the actual facts of history. Details quite as extravagant and revolting as those contained in the works of Eliphas Lévi(22) or in Huysmans’s Là-bas are given in documentary form by Margaret Alice Murray in her singularly passionless work relating principally to the witches of Scotland.(23)

The cult of evil is a reality–by whatever means we may seek to explain it. Eliphas Lévi, whilst denying the existence of Satan ” as a superior personality and power,” admits this fundamental truth : ” Evil exists ; it is impossible to doubt it. We can do good or evil. There are beings who knowingly and voluntarily do evil.”(24) There are also beings who love evil. Lévi has admirably described the spirit that animates such beings in his definition of black magic :

Black magic is really but a combination of sacrileges and murders graduated with a view to the permanent perversion of the human will and the realization in a living man of the monstrous phantom of the fiend. It is, therefore, properly speaking, the religion of the devil, the worship of darkness, the hatred of goodness exaggerated to the point of paroxysm ; it is the incarnation of death and the permanent creation of hell.(25)

The Middle Ages, which depicted the devil fleeing from holy water, were not perhaps quite so benighted as our superior modern culture has led us to suppose. For that ” hatred of goodness exaggerated to the point of paroxysm,” that impulse to desecrate and defile which forms the basis of black magic and has manifested itself in successive phases of the world revolution, springs from fear. So by their very hatred the powers of darkness proclaim the existence of the powers of light and their own impotence. In the cry of the demoniac : ” What have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth ? art Thou come to destroy us ? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God,” do we not hear the unwilling tribute of the vanquished to the victor in the mighty conflict between good and evil ?

THE ROSICRUCIANS

In dealing with the question of Magic it is necessary to realize that although to the world in general the word is synonymous with necromancy, it does not bear this significance in the language of occultism, particularly the occultism of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Magic at this date was a term employed to cover many branches of investigation which Robert Fludd, the English Rosicrucian, classified under various headings, of which the first three are as follows : (1) ” Natural Magic, . . . that most occult and secret department of physics by which the mystical properties of natural substances are extracted “; (2) Mathematical Magic, which enables adepts in the art to ” construct marvellous machines by means of their geometrical knowledge ” ; whilst (3) Venefic Magic ” is familiar with potions, philtres, and with various preparations of poisons.”(26)

It is obvious that all these have now passed into the realms of science and are no longer regarded as magical arts ; but the further categories enumerated by Fludd and comprised under the general heading of Necromantic Magic retain the popular sense of the term. These are described as (1) Goetic, which consists in ” diabolical commerce with unclean spirits, in rites of criminal curiosity, in illicit songs and invocations, and in the evocation of the souls of the dead ” ; (2) Maleficent, which is the adjuration of the devils by the virtue of Divine Names ; and (3) Theurgic, purporting ” to be governed by good angels and the Divine Will, but its wonders are most frequently performed by evil spirits, who assume the names of God and of the angels.” (4) ” The last species of magic is the Thaumaturgic, begetting illusory phenomena ; by this art the Magi produced their phantoms and other marvels.” To this list might be added Celestial Magic, or knowledge dealing with the influence of the heavenly bodies, on which astrology is based.

The forms of magic dealt with in the preceding part of this chapter belong therefore to the second half of these categories, that is to say, to Necromantic Magic. But at the same period another movement was gradually taking shape which concerned itself with the first category enumerated above, that is to say the secret properties of natural substances.

A man whose methods appear to have approached to the modern conception of scientific research was Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, commonly known as Paracelsus, the son of a German doctor, born about 1493, who during his travels in the East is said to have acquired a knowledge of some secret doctrine which he afterwards elaborated into a system for the healing of diseases. Although his ideas were thus doubtless drawn from some of the same sources as those from which the Jewish Cabala descended, Paracelsus does not appear to have been a Cabalist, but a scientist of no mean order, and, as an isolated thinker, apparently connected with no secret association, does not enter further into the scope of this work.

Paracelsus must therefore not be identified with the school of so-called ” Christian Cabalists,” who, from Raymond Lulli, the ” doctor illuminatus” of the thirteenth century, onward, drew their inspiration from the Cabala of the Jews. This is not to say that the influence under which they fell was wholly pernicious, for, just as certain Jews appear to have acquired some real medical skill, so also they appear to have possessed some real knowledge of natural science, inherited perhaps from the ancient traditions of the East or derived from the writings of Hippocrates, Galen, and other of the great Greek physicians and as yet unknown to Europe. Thus Eliphas Lévi relates that the Rabbi Jechiel, a Cabalistic Jew protected by St Louis, possessed the secret of ever-burning lamps,(27) claimed later by the Rosicrucians, which suggests the possibility that some kind of luminous gas or electric light may have been know to the Jews. In alchemy they were the acknowledged leaders ; the most noted alchemist of the fourteenth century, Nicholas Flamel, discovered the secret of the art from the book of ” Abraham the Jew, Prince, Priest, Levite, Astrologer, an Philosopher,” and this actual book is said to have passed later into the possession of Cardinal Richelieu.(28)

It was likewise from a Florentine Jew, Alemanus or Datylus that Pico della Mirandola, the fifteenth-century mystic, received instructions in the Cabala(29) and imagined that he had discovered in it the doctrines of Christianity. This delighted Pope Sixtus IV, who thereupon ordered Cabalistic writings to be translated into Latin for the use of divinity students. At the same time the Cabala was introduced into Germany by Reuchlin, who had learnt Hebrew from the Rabbi Jacob b. Jechiel Loans, court physician to Frederic III, and in 1494 published a Cabalistic treatise De Verbo Mirifico, showing that all wisdom and true philosophy are derived from the Hebrews. Considerable alarm appears, however, to have been created by the spread of Rabbinical literature, and in 1509 a Jew converted to Christianity, named Pfefferkorn, persuaded the Emperor Maximilian I to burn all Jewish books except the Old Testament. Reuchlin, consulted on this matter, advised only the destruction of the Toledot Yeshu and of the Sepher Nizzachon by the Rabbi Lipmann, because these works ” were full of blasphemies against Christ and against the Christian religion,” but urged the preservation of the rest. In this defence of Jewish literature he was supported by the Duke of Bavaria, who appointed him professor at Ingoldstadt, but was strongly condemned by the Dominicans of Cologne. In reply to their attacks Reuchlin launched his defence De Arte Cabalistica, glorifying the Cabala, of which the ” central doctrine for him was the Messianology around which all its other doctrines grouped themselves.”(30) His whole philosophical system, as he himself admitted, was in fact entirely Cabalistic, and his views were shared by his contemporary Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim. As a result of these teachings a craze for Cabalism spread amongst Christian prelates, statesmen, and warriors, and a number of Christian thinkers took up the doctrines of the Cabala and ” essayed to work them over in their own way.” Athanasius Kircher and Knorr, Baron von Rosenroth, author of the Kabbala Denudata, in the course of the seventeenth century ” endeavoured to spread the Cabala among the Christians by translating Cabalistic works which they regarded as most ancient wisdom.” ” Most of them,” the Jewish Encyclopodia goes on to observe derisively, ” held the absurd idea that the Cabala contained proofs of the truth of Christianity. . . . Much that appears Christian [in the Cabala] is, in fact, nothing but the logical development of certain ancient esoteric doctrines.”(31)

The Rosicrucians appear to have been the outcome both of this Cabalistic movement and of the teachings of Paracelsus. The earliest intimation of their existence was given in a series of pamphlets which appeared at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The first of these, entitled the Fama Fraternitatis ; or a Discovery of the Fraternity of the most Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross, was published at Cassel in 1614 and the Confessio Fraternitatis early in the following year. These contain what may be described as the ” Grand Legend” of Rosicrucianism, which has been repeated with slight variation up to the present day. Briefly, this story is as follows (32) :

” The most godly and highly-illuminated Father, our brother C.R.,” that is to say, Christian Rosenkreutz, ” a German, the chief and original of our Fraternity,” was born in 1378, and some sixteen years later travelled to the East with a Brother P.A.L., who had determined to go to the Holy Land. On reaching Cyprus, Brother P.A.L. died and ” so never came to Jerusalem.” Brother C.R., however, having become acquainted with certain Wise Men of ” Damasco in Arabia,” and beheld what great wonders they wrought, went on alone to Damasco. Here the Wise Men received him, and he then set himself to study Physick and Mathematics and to translate the Book M into Latin. After three years he went to Egypt, whence he Journeyed on to Fez, where ” he did get acquaintance with those who are called the Elementary inhabitants, who revealed to him many of their secrets. . . . Of those of Fez he often did confess that their Magia was not altogether pure and also that their Cabala was defiled with their religion, but notwithstanding he knew how to make good use of the same.” After two years Brother C.R. departed the city Fez and sailed away with many costly things into Spain, where he conferred with the learned men and being ” ready bountifully to impart all his arts and secrets” showed them amongst other things how there might be a society in Europe which might have gold, silver, and precious stones sufficient for them to bestow on kings for their necessary uses and lawful purposes. . . .”
Christian Rosenkreutz then returned to Germany, where ” there is nowadays no want of learned men, Magicians, Cabalists, Physicians, and Philosophers.” Here he ” builded himself a fitting and neat habitation in the which he ruminated his voyage and philosophy and reduced them together in a true memorial.” At the end of five years’ meditation there ” came again into his mind the wished-for Reformation : accordingly, he chose ” some few adjoyned with him,” the Brethren G.V., I.A., and I.O.–the last of whom ” was very expert and well learned in Cabala as his book H witnesseth “–to form a circle of initiates. ” After this manner began the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.” Five other Brethren were afterwards added, all Germans except I.A., and these eight constituted his new building called Sancti Spiritus. The following agreement was then drawn up :

First, that none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis.
Second, none of the posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the country.
Third, that every year, upon the day C., they should meet together at the house Sancti Spiritus, or write the cause of his absence.
Fourth, every Brother should look about for a worthy person who after his decease, might succeed him.
Fifth, the word C.R. should be their seal, mark, and character.
Sixth, the Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years.
Finally Brother C.R. died, but where and when, or in what country he was buried, remained a secret. The date, however, is generally given as 1484. In 1604 the Brethren who then constituted the inner circle of the Order discovered a door on which was written in large letters

Post 120 Annos Patebo.

On opening the door a vault was disclosed to view, where beneath a brass tablet the body of Christian Rosenkreutz was found, ” whole and unconsumed,” with all his ” ornaments and attires,” and holding in his hand the parchment ” I ” which ” next unto the Bible is our greatest treasure,” whilst beside him lay a number of books, amongst others the Vocabulario of Paracelsus, who, however, the Fama observes, earlier ” was one of our Fraternity.”(33)

The Brethren now knew that after a time there would be ” a general reformation both of divine and human things.” While declaring their belief in the Christian faith, the Fama goes on to explain that :

Our Philosophy is not a new invention, but as Adam after his fall hath received it and as Moses and Solomon used it, . . . wherein Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and others did hit the mark and wherein Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, did excel, but especially wherewith that wonderful Book the Bible agreeth.
It will be seen that, according to this Manifesto, Rosicrucianism was a combination of the ancient secret tradition handed down from the patriarchs through the philosophers of Greece and of the first Cabala of the Jews.

The ” Grand Legend ” of Rosicrucianism rests, however, on no historical evidence ; there is, in fact, not the least reason to suppose that any such person as Christian Rosenkreutz ever existed. The Illuminatus von Knigge in the eighteenth century asserted that :

It is now recognized amongst enlightened men that no real Rosicrucians have existed, but that the whole of what is contained in the Fama and the Universal Reformation of the World [another Rosicrucian pamphlet which appeared in the same year] was only subtle allegory of Valentine Andrea, of which afterwards partly deceivers (such as the Jesuits) and partly visionaries made use in order to realize this dream.(34)
What, then, was the origin of the name Rose-Cross ? According to one Rosicrucian tradition, the word ” Rose ” does not derive from the flower depicted on the Rosicrucian cross, but from the Latin word ros, signifying ” dew,” which was supposed to be the most powerful solvent of gold, whilst crux, the cross, was the chemical hieroglyphic for ” light.”(35) It is said that the Rosicrucians interpreted the initials of the cross INRI by the sentence ” Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur.”(36) Supposing this derivation to be correct, it would be interesting to know whether any connexion could be traced between the first appearance of the word Rosie Cross in the Fama Fraternitatis at the date of 1614 and the cabalistic treatise of the celebrated Rabbi of Prague, Shabbethai Sheftel Horowitz, entitled Shefa Tal, that is to say, ” The Effusion of Dew,” which appeared in 1612.(37) Although this book has often been reprinted, no copy is to be found in the British Museum, so I am unable to pursue this line of enquiry further. A simpler explanation may be that the Rosy Cross derived from the Red Cross of the Templars. Mirabeau, who as a Freemason and an Illuminatus was in a position to discover many facts about the secret societies of Germany during his stay in the country, definitely asserts that ” the Rose Croix Masons of the seventeenth century were only the ancient Order of the Templars secretly perpetuated.”(38)

Lecouteulx de Canteleu is more explicit :

In France the Knights (Templar) who left the Order, henceforth hidden, and so to speak unknown, formed the Order of the Flaming Star and of the Rose-Croix, which in the fifteenth century spread itself in Bohemia and Silesia. Every Grand officer of these Orders had all his life to wear the Red Cross and to repeat every day the prayer of St. Bernard.(39)
Eckert states that the ritual, symbols, and names of the Rose-Croix were borrowed from the Templars, and that the Order was divided into seven degrees, according to the seven days of creation, at the same time signifying that their ” principal aim was that of the mysterious, the investigation of Being and of the forces of nature.”(40)

The Rosicrucian Kenneth Mackenzie, in his Masonic Cyclopodia, appears to suggest the same possibility of Templar origin. Under the heading of Rosicrucians he refers enigmatically to an invisible fraternity that has existed from very ancient times, as early as the days of the Crusades, ” bound by solemn obligations of impenetrable secrecy,” and joining together in work for humanity and to ” glorify the good.” ” At various periods of history this body has emerged into a sort of temporary light ; but its true name has never transpired and is only known to the innermost adepts and rulers of the society.” ” The Rosicrucians of the sixteenth century finally disappeared and re-entered this invisible fraternity “–from which they had presumably emerged. Whether any such body really existed or whether the above account is simply an attempt at mystification devised to excite curiosity, the incredulous may question The writer here observes that it would be indiscreet to say more, but elsewhere he throws out a hint that may have some bearing on the matter, for in his article on the Templars he says that after the suppression of the Order it was revived in a more secret form and subsists to the present day. This would exactly accord with Mirabeau’s statement that the Rosicrucian were only the Order of the Templars secretly perpetuated. Moreover, as we shall see later, according to a legend preserved by the Royal Order of Scotland, the degree of the Rosy Cross had been instituted by that Order in conjunction with the Templars in 1314, and it would certainly be a remarkable coincidence that a man bearing the name of Rosenkreutz should happen to have inaugurated a society, founded, like the Templars, on Eastern secret doctrines during the course of the same century, without any connexion existing between the two.

I would suggest, then, that Christian Rosenkreutz was a purely mythical personage, and that the whole legend concerning his travels was invented to disguise the real sources whence the Rosicrucians derived their system, which would appear to have been a compound of ancient esoteric doctrines of Arabian and Syrian magic, and of Jewish Cabalism, partly inherited from the Templars but reinforced by direct contact with Cabalistic Jews in Germany. The Rose-Croix, says Mirabeau ” were a mystical, Cabalistic, theological, and magical sect,” and Rosicrucianism thus became in the seventeenth century the generic title by which everything of the nature of Cabalism, Theosophy, Alchemy, Astrology, and Mysticism was designated. For this reason it has been said that they cannot be regarded as the descendants of the Templars. Mr. Waite, in referring to ” the alleged connexion between the Templars and the Brethren of the Rosy Cross,” observes :

The Templars were not alchemists, they had no scientific pretensions, and their secret, so far as it can be ascertained, was a religious secret of an anti-Christian kind. The Rosicrucians, on the other hand, were pre-eminently a learned society and they were also a Christian sect.(41)
The fact that the Templars do not appear to have practised alchemy is beside the point ; it is not pretended that the Rosicrucians followed the Templars in every particular, but that they were the inheritors of a secret tradition passed on to them by the earlier Order. Moreover, that they were a learned society, or even a society at all, is not at all certain fir they would appear to have possessed no organization like the Templars or the Freemasons, but to have consisted rather of isolated occultists bound together by some tie of secret knowledge concerning natural phenomena. This secrecy was no doubt necessary at a period when scientific research was able to be regarded as sorcery, but whether the Rosicrucians really accomplished anything is extremely doubtful. They are said to have been alchemists ; but did they ever succeed in transmuting metals ? They are described as learned, yet do the pamphlets emanating from the Fraternity betray any proof of superior knowledge ? ” The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz,” which appeared in 1616, certainly appears to be the purest nonsense–magical imaginings the most puerile kind ; and Mr. Waite himself observes that the publication of the Fama and the Confessio Fraternitatis will not add new lustre to the Rosicrucian reputations :

We are accustomed to regard the adepts of the Rosy Cross as beings of sublime elevation and preternatural physical powers, masters of Nature, monarchs of the intellectual world. . . . But here in their own acknowledged manifestos they avow themselves a mere theosophical offshoot of the Lutheran heresy, acknowledging the spiritual supremacy of a temporal prince, and calling the Pope anti-Christ. . . . We find them intemperate in their language, rabid in their religious prejudices, and instead of towering giant-like above the intellectual average of their age, we see them buffeted by the same passions and identified with all opinions of the men by whom they were environed. The voice which addresses us behind the mystical mask of the Rose-Croix does not come from an intellectual throne. . . .
So much for the Rosicrucians as a ” learned society.”

What, then, of their claim to be a Christian body ? The Rosicrucian student of the Cabala, Julius Sperber, in his Echo of the Divinely Illuminated Fraternity of the Admirable Order of the R.C. (1615), has indicated the place assigned to Christ by the Rosicrucians. In De Quincey’s words :

Having maintained the probability of the Rosicrucian pretension on the ground that such magnalia Dei had from the creation downwards been confided to the keeping of a few individuals–agreeably to which he affirms that Adam was the first Rosicrucian of the Old Testament and Simeon the last–he goes on to ask whether the Gospel put an end to the secret tradition ? By no means, he answers : Christ established a new ” college of magic ” among His disciples and the greater mysteries were revealed to St. John and St. Paul.
John Yarker, quoting this passage, adds : ” This, Brother Findel points out, was a claim of the Carpocratian Gnostics ” ; it was also, as we have seen, a part of the Johannite tradition which is said to have been imparted to the Templars. We shall find the same idea of Christ as an ” initiate ” running all through the secret societies up to the present day.

These doctrines not unnaturally brought on the Rosicrucians the suspicion of being an anti-Christian body. The writ of a contemporary pamphlet published in 1624, declares that ” this fraternity is a stratagem of the Jews and Cabalistic Hebrews, in whose philosophy, says Pic de la Mirandole, all things are . . . as if hidden in the majesty of truth or as . . . in very sacred Mysteries.”(42)

Another work, Examination of the Unknown and Novel Cabala of the Brethren of the Rose-Cross, agrees with the assertion that the chief of this ” execrable college is Satan, that its first rule is denial of God, blasphemy against the most simple and undivided Trinity, trampling on the mysteries of the redemption, spitting in the face of the mother of God and of all the saints.” The sect is further accused of compact with the devil, sacrifices of children, of cherishing toads, making poisonous powders, dancing with fiends, etc.

Now, although all this would appear to be quite incompatible with the character of the Rosicrucians as far as it is known, we have already seen that the practices here described were by no means imaginary ; in this same seventeenth century, when the fame of the Rosicrucians was first noised abroad, black magic was still, as in the days of Gilles de Rais, a horrible reality not only in France but in England, Scotland, and Germany, where sorcerers of both sexes were continually put to death.(43) However much we may deplore the methods employed against these people or question the supernatural origin of their cult, it would be idle to deny that the cult itself existed.

Moreover, towards the end of the century it assumed in France a very tangible form in the series of mysterious dramas known as the ” Affaire des Poisons,” of which the first act took place in 1666, when the celebrated Marquis de Brinvillier embarked on her amazing career of crime in collaboration with her lover Sainte-Croix. This extraordinary women, who for ten years made a hobby of trying the effects of various slow poisons on her nearest relations, thereby causing the death of her father and brothers, might appear to have been merely an isolated criminal of the abnormal type but for the sequel to her exploits in the epidemic of poisoning which followed and during twenty years kept Paris in a state of terror. The investigation of the police finally led to the discovery of a whole band of magicians and alchemists–” a vast ramification of malefactors covering all France “–who specialized in the art of poisoning without fear of detection.

Concerning all these sorcerers, alchemists, compounders of magical powders and philtres, frightful rumours circulated, ” pacts with the devil were talked of, sacrifices of new-born babies, incantations, sacrilegious Masses and other practices as disquieting as they were lugubrious.”(44) Even the King’s mistress, Madame de Montespan, is said to have had recourse to black Masses in order to retain the royal favour through the agency of the celebrated sorceress La Voisin, with whom she was later implicated in an accusation of having attempted the life of the King.

All the extraordinary details of these events have recently been described in the book of Madame Latour, where the intimate connexion between the poisoners and the magicians is shown. In the opinion of contemporaries, these were not isolated individuals:

Their methods were too certain, their execution of crime too skilful and too easy for them not to have belonged, either directly or indirectly, to a whole organization of criminals who prepared the way, and studied the method of giving to crime the appearance of illness, of forming, in a word, a school.(45)
The author of the work here quoted draws an interesting parallel between this organization and the modern traffic in cocaine, and goes on to describe the three degrees into which it was divided : firstly, the Heads, cultivated and intelligent men, who understood chemistry, physics, and nearly all useful sciences, ” invisible counsellors but supreme, without whom the sorcerers would have been powerless ” ; secondly, the visible magicians employing mysterious processes, complicated rites and terrifying ceremonies ; and thirdly, the crowd of nobles and plebeians who flocked to the doors of the sorcerers and filled their pockets in return for magic potions, philtres, and, in certain cases, insidious poisons. Thus La Voisin must be placed in the second category ; ” in spite of her luxury, her profits, and her fame,” she ” is only a subaltern agent in this vast organization of criminals. She depends entirely for her great enterprises on the intellectual chiefs of the corporation. . . .”(46)

Who were these intellectual chiefs ? The man who first initiated Madame de Brinvilliers’ lover Sainte-Croix into the art of poisoning was an Italian named Exili or Eggidi ; but the real initiate from whom Eggidi and another Italian poisoner had learnt their secrets is said to have been Glaser, variously described as a German or a Swiss chemist, who followed the principles of Paracelsus and occupied the post of physician to the King and the Duc d’Orléans.(47) This man, about whose history little is known, might thus have been a kind of Rosicrucian. For since, as has been said, the intellectual chiefs from whom the poisoners derived their inspiration were men versed in chemistry, in science, in physics, and the treatment of diseases, and since, further, they included alchemists and people professing to be in possession of the Philosopher’s Stone, their resemblance with the Rosicrucians is at once apparent. Indeed, in turning back to the branches of magic enumerated by the Rosicrucian Robert Fludd, we find not only Natural Magic, ” that most occult and secret department of physics by which the mystical properties of natural substances are extracted,” but also Venefic Magic, which ” is familiar with potions, philtres, and with various preparations of poisons.”

The art of poisoning was therefore known to the Rosicrucians and, although there is no reason to suppose it was ever practised by the heads of the Fraternity, it is possible that the inspirers of the poisoners may have been perverted Rosicrucians, that is to say, students of those portions of the Cabala relating to magic both of the necromantic and venefic varieties, who turned the scientific knowledge which the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross used for healing to a precisely opposite and deadly purpose. This would explain the fact that contemporaries like the author of the Examination of the Unknown and Novel Cabala of the Brethren of the Rose-Cross should identify these brethren with the magicians and believe them to be guilty of practices deriving from the same sources as Rosicrucian knowledge–the Cabala of the Jews. Their modern admirers would, of course, declare that they were the poles asunder, the difference being between white and black magic. Huysmans, however, scoffs at this distinction and says the use of the term ” white magic ” was a ruse of the Rose-Croix.

But of the real doctrines of the Rosicrucians no one can speak with certainty. The whole story of the Fraternity is wrapped in mystery. Mystery was avowedly the essence of their system ; their identity, their aims, their doctrines, are said to have been kept a profound secret from the world. Indeed it is said that no real Rosicrucian ever allowed himself to be known as such. As a result of this systematic method of concealment, sceptics on the one hand have declared the Rosicrucians to have been charlatans and impostors or have denied their very existence, whilst on the other hand romancers have exalted them as depositaries of supernatural wisdom. The question is further obscured by the fact that most accounts of the Fraternity–as, for example, those of Eliphas Lévi, Hargrave Jennings, Kenneth Mackenzie, Mr. A.E. Waite Dr. Wynn Westcott, and Mr. Cadbury Jones–are the work of men claiming or believing themselves to be initiated into Rosicrucianism or other occult systems of a kindred nature and as such in possession of peculiar and exclusive knowledge. This pretension may at once be dismissed as an absurdity ; nothing is easier than for anyone to make a compound out of Jewish Cabalism and Eastern theosophy and to label it Rosicrucianism, but no proof whatever exists of any affiliation between the self-styled Rosicrucians of to-day and the seventeenth-century ” Brothers of the Rosy Cross.”(48)

In spite of Mr. Waite’s claim, ” The Real History of the Rosicrucians ” still remains to be written, at any rate in the English language. The book he has published under this name is merely a superficial study of the question largely composed of reprints of Rosicrucian pamphlets accessible to any student. Mr. Wigston and Mrs. Pott merely echo Mr. Waite. Thus everything that has been published hitherto consists in the repetition of Rosicrucian legends or in unsubstantiated theorizings on their doctrines. What we need are facts. We want to know who were the early Rosicrucians, when the Fraternity originated, and what were its real aims. These researches must be made, not by an occultist weaving his own theories into the subject, but by a historian free from any prejudices for or against the Order, capable of weighing evidence and of bringing a judicial mind to bear on the material to be found in the libraries of the Continent–notably the Bibliothque de l’Arsenal in Paris. Such a work wold be a valuable contribution to the history of secret societies in our country.

But if the Continental Brethren of the Rose-Croix form but a shadowy group of ” Invisibles” whose identity yet remains a mystery, the English adepts of the Order stand forth in the light of day as philosophers well known to their age and country. That Francis Bacon was initiated into Rosicrucianism is now recognized by Freemasons, but a more definite link with the Rosicrucians of the Continent was Robert Fludd, who after travelling for six years in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain–where he formed connexions with Jewish Cabalists(49)–was visited by the German Jew Rosicrucian Michel Maier–doctor to the Emperor Rudolf–by whom he appears to have been initiated into further mysteries.

In 1616 Fludd published his Tractatus Apologeticus, defending the Rosicrucians against the charges of ” detestable magic and diabolical superstition ” brought against them by Libavius. Twelve years later Fludd was attacked by Father Mersenne, to whom a reply was made ” by Fludd or a friend of Fludd’s ” containing a further defence of the Order. ” The Book,” says Mr. Waite, ” treats of the noble art of magic, the foundation and nature of the Cabala, the essence of veritable alchemy, and of the Causa Fratrum Rosae Crucis. It identifies the palace or home of the Rosicrucians with the Scriptural House of Wisdom.”

In further works by English writers the Eastern origin of the Fraternity is insisted on. Thus Thomas Vaughan, known as Eugenius Philalethes, writing in praise of the Rosicrucians in 1652, says that ” their knowledge at first was not purchased by their own disquisitions, for they received it from the Arabians, amongst whom it remained as the monument and legacy of the Children of the East. Nor is this at all improbable, for the Eastern countries have been always famous for magical and secret societies.”

Another apologist of the Rosicrucians, John Heydon, who travelled in Egypt, Persia, and Arabia, is described by a contemporary as having been in ” many strange places among the Rosie Crucians and at their castles, holy hoses, temples, sepulchres, sacrifices.” Heydon himself, whilst declaring that he is not a Rosicrucian, says that he knows members of the Fraternity and its secrets, that they are sons of Moses, and that ” this Rosie Crucian Physick or Medicine, I happily and unexpectedly alight upon in Arabia.” These references to castles, temples, sacrifices, encountered in Egypt, Persia, and Arabia inevitably recall memories of both Templars and Ismailis. Is there no connexion between ” the Invisible Mountains of the Brethren ” referred to elsewhere by Heydon and the Mountains of the Assassins and the Freemasons ? between the Scriptural ” House of Wisdom” and the Dar-ul-Hikmat or Grand Lodge of Cairo, the model for Western masonic lodges ?

It is as the precursors of the crisis that arose in 1717 that the English Rosicrucians of the seventeenth century are of supreme importance. No longer need we concern ourselves with shadowy Brethren laying dubious claim to supernatural wisdom, but with a concrete association of professed Initiates proclaiming their existence to the world under the name of Freemasonry.

  1. ” Their meetings were held in the most convenient spot, often on mountains or in valleys ; the only essentials were a table, a white cloth, and a copy of the Gospel of St. John, that is, their own version of it.”–Dr. Ranking, op. cit., p. 15 (A.Q.C., Vol. XXIV.). Cf. Gabriele Rossetti, The Anti-Papal Spirit, I. 230, where it is said ” the sacred books, and especially that of St. John, were wrested by this sect into strange and perverted meanings.”
  2. Michelet, Histoire de France, III. 18, 19 (1879 edition).
  3. Michelet, op. cit., p. 10. ” L’élément sémitique, juif et arabe, était fort en Languedoc.” Cf. A.E. Waite, The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, I. 118 : ” The South of France was a centre from which went forth much of the base occultism of Jewry as well as its theosophical dreams.”
  4. Michelet, op. cit., p. 12.
  5. Ibid., p. 15.
  6. Graetz, History of the Jews, III. 517.
  7. Thus Hastings’ Encyclopodia of Religion and Ethics omits all reference to Satanism before 1880 and observes : ” The evidence of the existence of either Satanists or Palladist consists entirely of the writings of a group of men in Paris.” It then proceeds to devote five columns out of the six and a half which compose the article to describing the works of two notorious romancers, Léo Taxil and Bataille. There is not a word of real information to be found here.
  8. Précis of Eliphas Lévi’s writings by Arthur E. Waite, The Mysteries of Magic, p. 215.
  9. Jewish Encyclopodia, article on Cabala.
  10. Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, II. 220 (1861). It is curious to notice that Sir James Frazer, in his vast compendium on magic The Golden Bough, never once refers to any of the higher adepts–Jews, Rosicrucians, Satanists, etc., or to the Cabala as a source of inspiration. The whole subject is treated as if the cult of magic were the spontaneous outcome of primitive or peasant mentality.
  11. Histoire de la Magie, p. 289.
  12. Talmud, treatise Berakhoth, folio 6. The Talmud also gives direction on the manner of guarding against occult powers and the onslaught of disease. The tract Pesachim declares that he who stands naked before a candle is liable to be seized with epilepsy. The same tract also states that ” a man should not go out alone on the night following the fourth day or on the night following the Sabbath, because an evil spirit, called Agrath, the daughter of Ma’hlath, together with one hundred and eighty thousand other evil spirits, go forth into the world and have the right to injure anyone they should chance to meet.”
  13. Talmud, treatise Hullin, folios 143, 144.
  14. Hastings’ Encyclopodia of Religion and Ethics, article on Jewish Magic by M. Gaster.
  15. Margaret Alice Murray, The Witch Cult in Western Europe, and Jules Garinet, Histoire de la Magie en France, p. 163 (1818).
  16. Hastings’ Encyclopodia, article on Jewish Magic by M. Gaster. See the Zohar, treatise Bereschith, folio 54b, where it is said that all men are visited in their sleep by female devils. ” These demons never appear under an other form but that of human beings, but they have no hair on their heads . . . In the same way as to men, male devils appear in dreams to women, with whom they have intercourse.”
  17. The Rev. Moses Margoliouth, The History of the Jews in Great Britain, I. 82. The same author relates further on (p. 304) that Queen Elizabeth’s Hebrew physician Rodrigo Lopez was accused of trying to poison her an died a victim of persecution.
  18. The Rev. Moses Margoliouth, The History of the Jews in Great Britain, I. 83.
  19. Hastings’ Encyclopodia, article on Teutonic magic by F. Hälsig.
  20. Talmud, tract Sabbath.
  21. Hermann L. Strack, The Jews and Human Sacrifice, Eng. Trans., pp. 140, 141 (1900).
  22. See pages 215 and 216 of The Mysteries of Magic, by A.E. Waite.
  23. See also A.S. Turberville, Medioval Heresy and the Inquisition, 111-12 (1920), ending with the words : ” The voluminous records of the holy tribunal, the learned treatises of its members, are the great repositories the true and indisputable facts concerning the abominable heresies of sorcery and witchcraft.”
  24. Histoire de la Magie, p. 15.
  25. Mysteries of Magic, p. 221.
  26. A.E. Waite, The Real History of the Rosicrucians, p. 293.
  27. Histoire de la Magie, p. 266.
  28. John Yarker, The Arcane Schools, p. 205.
  29. Drach (De 1’Harmonie entre l’Église et la Synagogue, II. p. 30) says that Pico della Mirandola paid a Jew 7,000 ducats for the Cabalistic MSS. fro which he drew his thesis.
  30. Jewish Encyclopodia, articles on Cabala and Reuchlin.
  31. Ibid., article on Cabala.
  32. The following résumé is taken from the recent reprint of the Fama and Confessio brought out by the ” Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia,” and printed by W.J. Parrett (Margate, 1923). The story, which, owing to the extraordinary confusion of the text, is difficult to resume as a coherent narrative is given in the Fama ; the dates are given in the Confessio.
  33. Incidentally Paracelsus was not born until 1493, that is to say nine years after Christian Rosenkreutz is supposed to have died.
  34. Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens, Part II. p. 148 (Munich, 1787).
  35. Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 265.
  36. Ibid., p. 150.
  37. Jewish Encyclopodia, article on Shabbethai Horowitz.
  38. Mirabeau, Histoire de la Monarchie Prussienne, V. 76.
  39. Lecouteulx, de Canteleu, Les Sectes et Sociétés Secrètes, p. 97.
  40. Eckert, La Franc-Maçonnerie dans sa véritable signification, II. 48.
  41. A.E. Waite, The Real History of the Rosicrucians, p. 216.
  42. ” Tracté des Athéistes, Déistes, Illuminez d’Espagne et Nouveaux Prétendus Invisibles, dits de la Confrairie de la Croix-Rosaire, élevez depuis quelques années dans le Christianisme,” forming the second part of the ” Histoire Générale de Progrès et Décadence de l’Hérésie Moderne–A la suite du Premier ” de M. Florimond de Raemond, Conseiller du Roy, etc.
  43. See G.M. Trevelyan, England under the Stuarts, pp. 32, 33, and James Howell, Familiar Letters (edition of 1753), pp. 49, 435. James Howell was clerk to the Privy Council of Charles I.
  44. Th.-Louis Latour, Princesses, Dames et Aventurières du Règne de Louis XIV, p. 278 (Eugne Figuire, Paris, 1923).
  45. Ibid., p. 297.
  46. Ibid., p. 306.
  47. Ouvres complètes de Voltaire, Vol. XXI. p. 129 (1785 edition) ; Biographie Michaud, article on Glaser.
  48. This assertion finds confirmation in the Encyclopodia Britannica article on the Rosicrucians, which states : ” In no sense are modern Rosicrucians derived from the Fraternity of the seventeenth century.”
  49. Jewish Encyclopodia, article on the Cabala.

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