Interesting historical piece from the 1990's providing some background
on AMORC's Raymond Bernard (France's jurisdiction GM) severing ties
with AMORC in the 80s.
Recently, Imperator Gary Stewart gave me his comments about this 1996
online message written by Ed Mahood on this subject about the (rather
political) events leading to AMORC's schism in 1990. The topic of the
online document is 'Direction of Rosicrucian Research' which can be
Below I quote the document, together with GLS responses to the claims
therein (in UPPERCASE).
====== Quoted Message Begins =======
From: Ed Mahood
Subject: Re: Direction of Rosicrucian Research
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 22:38:44 -0700
At 12:46 PM 6/11/96 CST, Walter wrote:
I found your reference to CIRCES of interest, but would like to shift
of the emphases in your comment, if I may.
AMORC. If not, you may consider looking into CIRCES. This Order
founded by Raymond Bernard after he left AMORC upon the death of
Actually, the idea for CIRCES was the last in a number of formulations
developed while Lewis was alive; a 'pilot program' was begun in the
60s, strictly Templar in flavor, with Lewis' consent, but it proved
so Bernard shut it down. Shortly before Lewis' transition, Bernard
going to have another go at it, this time is a slightly different
ED IS SPECULATING HERE AND TRYING TO FORCE SQUARE PEGS INTO ROUND
HOLES. RAYMOND AND CHRISTIAN DID FORM THEIR "TEMPLAR" ORDER IN 1972
BUT IT WAS WITHOUT RML'S BLESSING. RAYMOND DID TO RALPH WHAT HE LATER
DID TO ME BY SAYING ONE THING AND DOING ANOTHER.WHAT RALPH APPROVED
WAS A RESEARCH ENTITY TO STUDY THE TEMPLARS, NOT TO CREATE AN ORDER.
WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR RAYMOND AND CHRISTIAN FORMED THE ORDER, RALPH
TOLD THEM TO SHUT IT DOWN AT WHICH TIME RAYMOND REPORTED TO RALPH THAT
HE HAD LOST CONTROL OF IT AS THE PEOPLE HE PUT IN CHARGE EFFECTIVELY
STOLE IT FROM HIM. HOWEVER, I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT RAYMOND SIMPLY
BECAME THEIR "SECRET CHIEF" AND STILL MAINTAINED CONTROL OVER ALL
SPLINTER GROUPS THAT FORMED FROM HIS CREATION. IN 1985 THE SOLAR
TEMPLE (ONE OF THE SPLINTER GROUPS) WAS TRYING TO FORM WITHIN THE
AMORC LODGE IN PHOENIX AND I WROTE RAYMOND ASKING HIM TO REMOVE THEM.
RAYMOND WROTE BACK AND TOLD ME THE SAME STORY HE TOLD RALPH (WHICH
RALPH HAD ALREADY TOLD ME) THAT HE LOST CONTROL AND REALLY COULDN'T DO
ANYTHING, BUT THAT HE WOULD CONTACT THEIR GM ON MY BEHALF. FRANKLY, I
NEVER SAW ANYTHING IN THE EWSOTERIC WORLD WORK SO QUICKLY. LITERALLY
OVERNIGHT, THE SOLAR TEMPLE REMOVED ITSELF FROM THE LODGE AND NO
LONGER WORKED IN THE LODGE TO GET RECRUITS ALTHOUGH A FEW THEY DID GET
REMAINED WITH THEM. I THOUGHT IT INTERESTING THE LEVEL OF PULL RAYMOND
HAD OVER THEM WHEN HE CLAIMED HE WAS NO LONGER INVOLVED.
Originally, membership was to be open only to those members of AMORC
at least completed the Temple degree studies.
ORIGINALLY, THE IDEA OF CREATION OF CIRCES AND THE ACTUAL FORMATION
HAPPENED *AFTER* RML DIED. THE IDEA WAS BORN OUT OF A MEETING BETWEEN
RAYMOND, CHRISTIAN, AND MYSELF WHERE CHRISTIAN AND I WERE ENCOURAGING
RAYMOND TO DO SOMETHING BECAUSE HE WAS QUITE DEPRESSED. IN PARIS THEY
HAD A CULTURAL CENTER WHICH WAS QUITE POPULAR AND RAYMOND WAS TO
ORGANIZE A CULTURAL ORGANIZATION CONSISTING OF NON-AMORC MEMBERS AND
DRAWN FROM THE CULTURAL CENTER PATRONAGE -- SORT OF A "FRIENDS OF
AMORC" TYPE OF PROGRAM WHERE WE COULD ACTUALLY WORK TO HAVE THEM LATER
JOIN AMORC. THERE WAS NEVER ANY INTENTION ON MY PART TO FORM A
COMPETING ORDER AND I DON'T THINK IT WAS WITH CHRISTIAN EITHER.
HOWEVER, RAYMOND GOT FINANCIAL BACKING FROM THE PRESIDENT OF CAMEROON
(WHERE RAYMOND LIVED FOR AWHILE) AND THE ORDER WAS ANNOUNCED IN THE
MAGAZINE "PARIS MATCH". THAT WAS THE FIRST I EVER HEARD OF IT -- WHEN
CHRISTIAN CALLED ME AND ASKED IF I KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HIS FATHER
AMORC's nature has traditionally been somewhat passive (home sanctum
membership being the primary form; low levels of participation, in
general, in affiliated body
activities). CIRCES was to form an active pole, so to speak, to give
avenue of expression to those who had 'learned something along the
path' and who desired to share this with others. Hence, the outer
CIRCES was directed to cultural and spiritual research as the name of
SEEMS TO ME ED WAS EITHER A WILLING OR UNWILLING PROPAGANDIST WITH
THIS STATEMENT. CIRCES WAS TO "FRIENDS OF AMORC" PATRONS TO AMORC
MEMBERSHIP WHILST PURSUING CULTURAL ENDEAVORS. ALL THAT INNER CIRCLE
CRAP WAS A CON.
In fact, even after Lewis died, the ties between AMORC and CIRCES were
tight, Gary Stewart, Lewis' successor, publically announced as the
honorary president of CIRCES.
AS I SAID ABOVE, CIRCES OR THE IDEA NEVER EXISTED PRIOR TO RALPH'S
DEATH. AND YES, RAYMOND PUBLICLY ANNOUNCED ME AS IT'S FIRST HONORARY
PRESIDENT AND HE EVEN GOT THE PRESIDENT OF CAMEROON AND THE PRESIDENT
OF GABON TO AWARD ME WITH HIGH HONORS -- I THINK TO APPEASE ME BECAUSE
HE KNEW HE CONNED ME AND USED MY NAME AND AMORC TO FURTHER HIS OWN
ENDS. I IMMEDIATELY WITHDREW MY NAME AND SEVERED RELATIONS WITH
and was on the Board of Trustees when he left AMORC. Things to
besides the positions he held in AMORC before founding CIRCES are:
1) A book titled " A Secret Meeting in Rome" by Raymond Bernard,
published in 1969 and sold by AMORC. Its presented as an
with hindsite it is clear that he was talking about establishing
CIRCES back in the 1960's. The reason this is also interesting
that the book would have been reviewed and approved by AMORC
before they would have decided to sell it through their book
store and should have known what it is predicting. Also, they
still sell it.
This work forms the third part of a tetrology which Bernard had
earlier. The two parts preceeding it are entitled "Strange
"The Secret Houses of the Rose+Croix". The fourth part is entitled
Invisible Empire." Each of these three other parts were translated
English in 1981 and distributed by the Francis Bacon Lodge in London.
course, the original French version had been circulating for some
of this was with the full knowledge of the then Supreme See in San
NO IT WASN'T. THE SGL TRANSLATED AND PUBLISHED "MESSAGES FROM THE
CELESTIAL SANCTUM" BUT RALPH THOUGHT HIS OTHER BOOKS WERE PURE
FANTASY. BACON LODGE IN LONDON WAS INVOLVED WITH THE BOOTLEG COPIES
THAT WERE POORLY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH.
2) When Raymond Bernard left AMORC to start CIRCES activities a
large number of AMORC members left with him to join this new
Order. As I understand, most of these were AMORC Hierarchy
members. Meaning they had obtained the last degree of AMORC
and had been in it a long time.
Bernard stepped down from his offical position on the board over a
before Lewis died,
HE STEPPED DOWN ABOUT 7 MONTHS PRIOR TO RML'S DEATH.
thereby making room for Gary Stewart on the Board.
Bernard remained in an unofficial position as Advisor to the
YES, RALPH KEPT HIM AS AN ADVISOR. SO DID I WHEN I TOOK OVER -- AT
LEAST UNTIL THE CIRCES NONSENSE.
When he left AMORC, it was on good terms. In fact, he would have
been the most likely successor to Lewis, but he declined in favor of a
younger successor, among other reasons.
SPECULATION ON ED'S PART. EITHER THAT OR HE WAS MISINFORMED.
At first, no one left AMORC for CIRCES for membership in one or the
was not exclusionary. Although a large number of higher degree
were members of CIRCES, the gamut of members ran from members of other
esoteric orders and societies to individuals who had no other prior
affiliations. Entry into the inner orders of CIRCES was after a
activity in the outer, exoteric circle of the organization.
INITIALLY, CIRCES WAS MADE UP EXCLUSIVELY OF AMORC MEMBERS OF ALL
DEGREES. AMORC MEMBERSHIP WAS TARGETED TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN ORDER.
3) To dispute claims that this was simply a mass exodis out of
AMORC upon the death of Ralph Lewis are the 12th degree
monographs themselves. Aproximately 12 monographs are
dedicated to presenting the history of the Templar Knights,
stating that there was always a close relationship between
that organization and the rosicrucians, that the Templar
Order still existed and would become active again in the
Links with the Templars are exotic and attractive and circulate
esoteric circles. It should be remembered that in the late 80s there
regular frenzy of Templar and Templar-related activities. Gaetan
published his "The Templar Tradition in the Age of Aquarius", a highly
insightful and readable book that took an historical and spiritual
the Templar phenomenon. Almost at the same time, Umberto Eco's
Pendulum" appeared which gave esoteric orders a bad rap in general,
the Templars to task in particular. Besides CIRCES (whose first inner
circle was Templar in nature), two European groups made themselves
the same time; one of which became quite active in Canada, the US and
Switzerland and recently made sensational headlines of the grizzly
murder/suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple.
THE SOLAR TEMPLE *WAS* RAYMOND'S CREATION. NOTHING TEMPLAR WITH
DELAFORGE'S BOOK NOR WAS IT INSIGHTFUL IN MY OPINION.
Of course there has always been a Templar connection in Masonic
the appearance of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" fueled this connection and
speculation in this direction in particular. Robinson's "Born in
appeared not much later which further solidified this link.
ROBINSON'S BOOK SOLIDIFIED THAT THE MASONS *PROBABLY* EVOLVED FROM
EXCOMMUNICATED TEMPLARS ON THE RUN AS THE MASONS (OR SHOULD I SAY
"MAISONS") SERVED AS AN UNDERGROUND NETWORK OF SAFE HOUSES FOR ANY
EXCOMMUNICATES TO TRY TO GET THEM TO SAFETY IN SCOTLAND. BUT
ROBINSON'S BOOK IN NO WAY DRAWS ANY SIMILARITY OR CONCLUSIONS WITH
HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL WHICH WAS BASED UPON A FABRICATED GENEOLOGY AND
DOCUMENTS CREATED IN THE 1950'S.
What is more,
even quasi-Masonic orders, such as the Martinists, make several
to the Templars. The local workings of the Martinists in Barbados
all take place under the auspices of the Order of the Grail, to
AND TODAY, DAN BROWN MENTIONS TEMPLARS. THAT DOESN'T MAKE HIM ONE.
An intelectual investigation may conclude that Bernard simply
manipulated members by using what was in the monographs to lead
them away from AMORC, but then again it may lead to some other
conclusion. I will add that I am not a current member of CIRCES.
I can see how you may have drawn this conclusion, but the door you
left open may be the more viable alternative. But, I'm not sure how
intellectual investigation here will help. I am firmly convinced that
Raymond Bernard did not manipulate anyone in regard to CIRCES, for it
seemed that AMORC was his first and deepest love.
IN BOTH RALPH'S AND MY EXPERIENCE, RAYMONDS FIRST AND DEEPEST LOVE WAS
HIS REPUTATION AS A MYSTIC AND ROSICRUCIAN AND HE, UNFORTUNATELY, USED
AMORC TO BUILD THAT REPUTATION. I CAN'T SAY WHO ALL HE MANIPULATED,
BUT HE DID MANIPULATE ME.
As I stated earlier,
originally there was no problem belonging to both groups
This was particularly important for the long-time AMORCans who did not
to (and simply would not) renounce their membership in AMROC. As
many members' admiration was for Raymond Bernard, it would have been
unthinkable for them to drop AMORC for Bernard, the person.
A rift did occur, but it preceeded (and, in part, led up to) the
turmoil that shook AMORC when Gary Stewart was ousted. There were
stories circulating at that time of members of CIRCES losing their
memberships because of their affiliations.
NOT TRUE IN THE US, BUT THIS MAY HAVE HAPPENED IN FRANCE UNDER
Some of this started with
Stewart, who did a 180-degree turn on CIRCES, but it noticeably
intensity when Bernard's son, Christian, took over as head of AMORC.
for a fact that Raymond was quite disturbed by this.
Much water has since flowed under the bridge: CIRCES in its
exoteric/esoteric configuration was reorganized in France a few years
The only place that it retained this form was in the United States,
has changed as well in the meantime. The French retreated soley into
Templar forms, but it would appear that the negative publicity
especially in the French-speaking world, by the demise of the OST, has
driven them to be even lower key than they were. In the United
recently saw that they have changed as well and are now the Templar
Institute, maintaining the flavor, but not necessarily the full form.
====== Quoted message ends =======
Gary Stewart's removal WAS NOT POLITICAL.
It was caused by Gary Stewart borrowing over three million dollars backed by
AMORC's assets and depositing the money in trust accounts which AMORC DID
AMORC filed suit and was able to retrieve the money deposited in a trust in
Andorra; they were not able to retrieve the $500,000 Stewart deposited in
the trust in Pittsburgh.
I can repost Gary Stewart's own words from this newsgroup, if you need to
read them again. He parses his words carefully, but it is still possible to
discover what happened.
No-one cares what Gary Stewart says or thinks. He's nothing more than an
insignificant little occultist, who's twisting the truth to suit his own
ends. This entire interview is an attempt to smear the Bernard's and create
the illusion that he (Stewart) was removed without just cause.
He's added his name to the long list of people who've taken the AMORC
monographs and created his own occult organization using them. If he had the
insight he pretends to, he would see why he's failed (like all the others).
Karmic paybacks are hell.