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Rosicrucianism (AMORC - Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crusis)

Rosicrucianism deals with ancient mysticism and has an estimated 400,000 to 700,000 followers or Rosicrucians. Rosicrucianism claims ties to a number of older movements including some of ancient Egyptian origin as far back as 1500 B.C.. Rosicrucians traditionally regard Akhnaton (1355 B.C.) as their first Grand Master.

Another Rosicrucian movement was founded by Christian Rosencreuz (1378-1484) in Germany between 1407 and 1413. Rosicrucians also claim that a number of famous historical and intellectual figures including Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes and Benjamin Franklin were Rosicrucians. Legend has Francis Bacon serving as Imperator (or Head of the Order). Due to the secretive nature of its existence and male membership in Europe between 1400-1700's, Rosicrucianism has often been referred to as a "secret brotherhood". The modern movement was started by R.W. Little in 1868.

The most popular and largest Rosicrucian organization in the United States was incorporated as the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) in the state of California, U.S.A. as an educational institution (not a religion) in 1915 and ever since. AMORC was founded by Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883-1939), who was the first Imperator of AMORC from 1915 to 1939. His son, Ralph Maxwell Lewis (1904-1987) was the Imperator of AMORC from 1939 to 1987. Gary L. Stewart was Imperator of AMORC from 1987 to 1990. Christian Bernard (1951- ) is the current Imperator of AMORC.

According to AMORC, the Rosicrucian Order first came to America in 1694 at the place that is now called Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. (Note that many encyclopedias have the year incorrectly as 1693.) AMORC now accepts both male and female members, has many affiliated chapters and lodges throughout the world, and considers itself a worldwide fraternity. Also, under Harvey Spencer Lewis' leadership, AMORC built a Rosicrucian museum and park in San Jose, California.

In its dealing with the public, AMORC primarily provides training in metaphysics and mysticism primarily via FREE lessons that are sent by mail to members, who pay annual "dues". Again, AMORC is a non-profit, educational charitable organization, classified by the IRS under section 501(c)(3).

AMORC mainly relies on its training materials to disseminate its teachings to individuals over the span of many years. In addition, there are numerous books written by Harvey Spencer Lewis, Ralph Maxwell Lewis and other Rosicrucians.

The main symbol of Rosicrucianism is a rose cross, rosy cross or a symbol consisting of a cross and a single red rose. (NOTE: The rose cross is also used in Freemasonry.)

The Rosicrucian Order is not a religion. It is nonsectarian. However, Rosicrucianism does believe in Jesus Christ and the basic principles of Christianity, but its interpretation of the scriptures in the New Testament of the Holy Bible and beliefs has notable differences with those of traditional Christian religious denominations.

There are also numerous other Rosicrucian organizations that are not affiliated with AMORC including: Confraternity of the Rose Cross - CR+C, Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, The Rosicrucian Fellowship, Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship, Societas Rosicruciana, and Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. (NOTE: The Rosicrucian Fellowship has its international headquarters based in Oceanside, California. It claims that Max Heindel of Danish birth brought Rosicrucianism to the USA In 1908 and established the Rosicrucian Fellowship.)

religion-info.com recommends the book titled Wisdom of the Mystic Masters by Joseph J. Weed (1968, Penguin Putnam Inc./Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-961532-6). This book provides a condensed version of the secret Rosicrucian teachings at the cost of a typical soft-cover or hard-cover book. If the information provided within this book is of interest to you, then consider joining one of the Rosicrucian organizations (mentioned above) for additional information.


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