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Secret Societies. RELS 225: Cults and New Religious Movements. Rosicrucians. Occult-cabalistic- theosophic "Rosicrucian Brotherhood", described in the pamphlet " Fama Fraternitatis R.C." ( Rosae crucis ), which was circulated in print in 1614

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Secret societies
Secret Societies

  • RELS 225: Cults and New Religious Movements


  • Occult-cabalistic-theosophic "Rosicrucian Brotherhood", described in the pamphlet "FamaFraternitatis R.C." (Rosaecrucis), which was circulated in print in 1614

  • A "Allgemeine und Generalreforationderganzenweiten Welt"

  • Beginning with the fourth edition in 1615, "ConfessioderFraternitat", was added to the "Fama".

According to these documents
According to these documents

  • the Rosicrucian brotherhood was founded in 1408 by a German nobleman, Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484), a former monk,

    • travelled through Damascus, Jerusalem and Fez

    • was initiated into Arabian learning (magic),

    • considered an antipapal Christianity, tinged with theosophy, his ideal of a religion.

  • Concern: that their names should appear in the Book of Life. Alchemy was unimportant but easy

  • apply themselves in secrecy to study Nature and make discoveries known to the order and profitable to humanity. (Cure the sick for free.)

  • Assemble annually at the "Edifice of the Holy Spirit" (the secret head-quarters)


  • The "Fama", invited "all of the scholars and rulers of Europe" to try to get admitted.

    • Generated excitement! Including Descartes and Leibniz

  • A hoax. Luther's motto: "Des Christen Hertz auf Rosen geht, wenn's mitten unter'mKreuzesteht"

  • Pseudo-Rosicrucian societies arose, falsely claiming descent from the genuine fraternity of the "Fama".

  • After 1750 occult Rosicrucianism was propagated by Freemasonry,

  • Since 1866 "colleges" of a Masonic Rosicrucian society, whose members claim to be direct descendants of the brotherhood founded in 1408.

    • Only Master Masons are eligible for membership.

    • "the aim of the Society to afford mutual aid and encouragement in working out the great problems of life and in searching out the secrets of nature; to facilitate the study of philosophy founded upon the Kabbalah and the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the original FratresRoseaeCrucis of Germany, A.D. 1450; and to investigate the meaning and symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art, and literature of the ancient world".

Modern rosicrucians amorc
Modern Rosicrucians: AMORC

  • Is AMORC a Religion?

  • No. AMORC, which stands for Ancient and Mystical Order RosaeCrucis, is not a religion and does not require a specific code of belief or conduct.

  • The Rosicrucian path incorporates both metaphysics and mysticism.

    • Metaphysics is that which falls beyond the five physical senses; for example, intuition, visualization, and healing techniques.

    • Mysticism is simply the process by which you may eventually experience direct, conscious union with the Absolute, Divine Mind, Universal Intelligence, or what some Rosicrucian students call the God of their Hearts.

    • This is not done by adhering to specific tenets or beliefs, but by learning and applying natural laws which, over time, allow you toexperience Divine or Cosmic Consciousness.


  • The official birth of Freemasonry is conventionally set at the founding of the Grand Lodge in 1717

Freemason beliefs practices
Freemason beliefs / practices

  • Private:

    • modes of recognition amongst members

      • "secrets of Freemasonry", are the signs, tokens and words associated with recognition in each degree

    • elements within the ritual

      • Each lodge is independent, and can set its own rituals.

  • central preoccupations:

    • charitable work in the community

    • moral uprightness

      • belief in a Supreme Being)

    • Developing fraternal friendship

Anti masonry conspiracy theories
Anti-Masonry Conspiracy theories

  • Because it is secretive, Freemasonry is implicated in conspiracy theories in which it secretly controls world politics.

  • Masons are accused of secretly plotting to create a society based on liberty, equality, fraternity, separation of church and state and (in Nazi Germany) a Jewish plot for religious tolerance.

  • Freemasonry has been accused of being a Jewish front for world domination in the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  • 1786 Disclosure of the System of Cosmopolitan Politics claimed a conspiracy of Freemasons, Illuminati and Jesuits were plotting world revolution.

  • 1797 John Robison pamphlet Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the secret meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies.

Christian anti masonry
Christian anti-Masonry

  • This theory was repeated by many Christians

  • other conspiracy theories claim

    • all the US Presidents were Masons

    • Masons were involved in the JFK assassination

    • there are Masonic symbols in federal buildings and architecture.

  • Charles Finney, The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry

  • Some Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations discourage joining Masonic lodges, ranging from mild concern to accusations of devil worship.

  • The Roman Catholic Church punishes membership in the Masons with barring an offender from the Sacraments.

Freemasonry and religion
Freemasonry and Religion

  • Freemasonry is not religion

    • nor is it a substitute for religion.

    • Requires belief in a Supreme Being

    • provides no system of faith of its own.

    • open to all religious faiths.

    • discussion of religion at meetings is forbidden.

  • Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion.

    • a) no theological doctrine, and prevents one from developing

    • b) no sacraments.

    • c) does not claim salvation by any means.

Freemasonry and religion1
Freemasonry and Religion

  • The Supreme Being

    • no separate Masonic God; a Freemason's God is the God of his religion.

  • Volume of the Sacred Law

    • The Bible is “the Volume of the Sacred Law”, open at every Masonic meeting.

  • The Obligation of Freemasonry

    • Masons swear on the Volume of the Sacred Law (to keep secret, to follow Freemasonry).

    • The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition.

  • Freemasonry Supports Religion

    • Expects faith, and to place duty to God above all else


  • Founded on May 1, 1776, in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Adam Weishaupt

  • Freethinkers. AKA "Perfectibilists".

  • Secret societies banned in Bavaria in 1784

  • pledged obedience to their superiors

  • three main classes, each with several degrees.

  • Ended in 1785.

  • Blamed for the French Revolution.

Modern illuminati theories
Modern Illuminati theories

  • Dan Brown merges them with the Freemasons, as a resurrected society.