Pages: Previous12
Current Page: 2 of 2
Re: The dilemma of being a member of AMORC
Posted by: watching4amorc ()
Date: January 18, 2009 12:04PM


It takes courage to face the truth, specially after investing 27 years of your life into AMORC.

Congratulations on your decision.

Keep on searching on the Spiritual Path.

Please do not be afraid of sharing with others your experience in AMORC. It is indeed a healing experience to share your experience with others.

Hopefully with time many more people will come forward and expose AMORC.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The dilemma of being a member of AMORC
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 19, 2009 01:48AM


On this thread there is an article where I played Scrabble and raised the possibility that one of the names used in AMORC might have been derived from a much older source than AMORC..namely Mme Blatvatsky's Theosophy--and all that was done was to take the material and change the names a bit.

If you are recovering, one thing to try might be to go to the reference to the dictionary of theosophical terms mentioned in the article and see if any of the stuff listed seems similar to AMORC.

Finding that this material is far from unique may lessen its power.

And research is a great way to flex and exercise those critical thinking muscles...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The dilemma of being a member of AMORC
Posted by: scaro ()
Date: May 06, 2009 06:22AM

I am a longterm researcher and critic of AMORC. I think its claims to occult 'legitimacy' are questionable, even its claims to teach 'Rosicrucian' content are debatable . . . there are many Rosicrucian groups and AMORC is only one, though the largest and most public.

Particularly since the days of Dame Frances Yates and her groundbreaking book on this area, 'The Rosicrucian Enlightenment' in the early 70s, a school of study of the occult has grown in academia. This has stimulated enough research and articles to where it is possible to examine and define what 'Rosicrucian' means in a fairly objective and historical way, and AMORC often doesn't even approach that definition, in spite of occasional nonsensical attempts to threaten and cajole other orgs and play the trademark game in relation to the 'Rosicrucian' name.

Harvey Spencer Lewis, the founder of the org, some might pattern as a true mystic, others might say he was a cad, telling hysterical lies at times to build up his organisation. He was found in court to have plagiarised a lot of material that he sold to his students as 'secret wisdom.' On the other hand, it seems he didn't do anything much that would have hurt another human being; he was inventive, hugely energetic, from all accounts funny, and the organisation he set up was largely benign.

So, despite being a critic, and having had long correspondence with other critics of AMORC, eg, Robert Vanloo, Elias Ibrahim, etc, I do feel that justice demands I say the truth about AMORC when it's labelled as a 'destructive cult.' It just isn't so.

AMORC charges minor dues to the ordinary member, perhaps $US200-300 a year, for which the member receives a full curriculum of weekly lessons with practical exercises that might be encountered in any mystical tradition. It's presented in an easily digested format. It demands only a couple of hours study a week. This is small beer. $5 or $6 a week and a couple of hours for study.

Demands for funds outside the Supreme Grand Lodge dues (the fees for getting the mailed lessons) are minor. There are lodge dues if you want to attend a physical group that meets in a building; in Melbourne, Australia, the cost was about $US50? a year for the privilege. For that you got a full programme of open days on Saturday, rituals, access to a decent library - distinguished by including books by a number of authors highly critical of HS Lewis ! Hardly the mark of a destructive cult . . .

OK, there are additional conferences you might attend, courses etc, but not that many, and for most, the cost is hardly astronomical. I attended one when I was a member at Sydney Lodge. The cost was $US15 a day, and included lectures, exercises, food and tea and coffee. These events might take place quarterly. Members had gone out of their way to provide food, do the catering, and make others feel welcome. They weren't brainwashed into doing this any more than anyone in a small Catholic parish group might be. They were nice people who believed some of their system and had found a place they were spiritually comfortable. That was about it.

Occasionally you might come across someone in the group who was a bit kooky, a 'true believer' I suppose. But this wasn't because of AMORC. It's just that small groups like this do attract folk like that sometimes. Trust me, I've been a member of enough little groups to know the type!

Some of the worst of these people detached from AMORC in 1990 after the Imperator, a former rodeo clown (!) named Gary Stewart, was removed in a palace coup. He founded another group, but even though some of the old AMORC die-hards went with him, he publicly gave marching orders to some of the more noxious of them a few years ago, presumably realising the danger that fanatics pose.

Most of the members I knew were balanced, compassionate people. Most had a healthy range of interests in things outside their mysticism, and more than half were members of other mystical groups. The head of the Melbourne Lodge was a popular and well known Mason, and also a member of a group whose founder roundly attacked Lewis in the 1920s. Hank was well aware of this. It did not bother him in the slightest.

As for compulsion and manipulation, well I don't think AMORC does much of that. They do the soft-sell on some of their publications (they have a publishing arm) and sure, they'd like you to stay a member, and say as much, but fairly well leave your affiliation up to you . . . remembering that probably more than half AMORC members only interact with the group by receiving the lessons and do not affiliate with physical lodges.

Do they have some flowery promises ? Well, yeah. But what religious group doesn't ? And they do leave your beliefs largely up to you, including your affiliation with other occult orders, mainstream religions, your politics, and what you believe from their lessons.

Most of the members I spoke to believed some of what the order taught, but not all of it. One of them thought the founder was a complete charlatan and felt quite OK with venturing that view to me. Member atttitudes seemed less derived from a personality cult around the founder instead being largely dervied from having tried and tested the exercises and having found them effective in their lives. By and large, they were good people.

I think all of this needs to be recognised in any valid consideration of what AMORC is.

My biases and affiliations . . . I was a member of AMORC for 18 months to 2 years, and have been a member of other Rosicrucian and occult groups not connected to AMORC for many years. Some of the people in those groups are current or former members of AMORC. I have written a few history articles on AMORC history and examining related orders.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2009 06:48AM by scaro.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The dilemma of being a member of AMORC
Posted by: clefwalker ()
Date: May 06, 2009 10:23AM

Ben, thank you for your thoughts. I feel the same way--if one is a "regular" member, it is pretty peaceful and one doesn't feel the cult aspect. Some people need to feel that "belonging" that characterizes membership in an organization, and they make it into a quasi-cult. I never felt that I was being overly influenced, although one does begin to think like a Rosicrucian after a while. My beef at this point is the leadership of the American Grand Lodge, which has manifested itself as rigid and inflexible. I am gradually cutting the ties, although there may still be a connection for a short while.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The dilemma of being a member of AMORC
Posted by: scaro ()
Date: May 07, 2009 12:16AM

That's ok Clefwalker.

I have no doubt there is a small minority who did turn AMORC into their personal cult.

These people tended to be the most rigid adherents to the personality cult around the Lewises. Being a camp follower of that kind is inevitably going to lead to a fork in the road at some point, because the Lewises were human and made significant errors.

So you either choose to diverge from reality and keep the rosy-tinted glasses on when it comes to the doings of Harvey, Ralph, Raymond, Christian and the gang, or you adjust the myth, experience a bit of disappointment, and hold true to reality.

I think that's a real stage in growth for the mystic. If you can read RS Clymer on Lewis' pilfering of writers like William Walker Atkinson, and still say 'Oh well, he did a few bad things, but his system is still OK' then that's an adult response, I'd say.

If you read Clymer and then conclude that Clymer was an evil liar and that all he said about the Lewises was wrong, or you decide to totally abandon the Lewises and seek perfection elsewhere, then in my view, you're not dealing with reality in an adult way.

There used to be a few on the alt.amorc newsgroup who fit the 'camp follower' mold. It did not surprise me to find that their detachment from reality segued into other areas of their lives . . . one of them even maintaining a fiction that he was a Vietnam veteran . . . while his wife posted vociferously on the alt.amorc about why people should go fight in the Iraq war! What a piece of work!

But that's the full cultic 'disconnect' in operation, the way I see it. But these whackaloons are thankfully a very few, and most people I met in AMORC didn't act that way. Most were good; some were really evolved, intellectual individuals who would not have been out of place in the upper echelons of Buddhism or with the Jesuits, or any other 'mainstream' system.

There did seem to be a few nasty folk who turned AMORC into their own little power trip, ie, less about being a true believer and more about seeing how far and fast they could climb the hierarchy and play favourites and little exclusionary games, messing with those they saw as lower down in the pecking order.

As to 'thinking like a Rosicrucian'. If you immerse yourself in any system of training you'll come to think as the system prescribes. I would say I think in an 'occult' or 'initiated' way because that's been my training, in a variety of groups. I think I got more value out of belonging to a few groups, as I could contrast aspects of their teaching, and it made it easier to see the value and parallels in different systems, say in Islam and Christianity, where Rosicrucian study of one kind or another improved my understanding and appreciation of what's going on with the 'spiritual technology' of those faiths.

I think there always comes a point where you need to cut your ties with a group. Even some of the strongest AMORC defenders have done that. That isn't to say the system is wrong, it's just that the effect of the path is to lead to changes, flux, and growth, and the rigidity of a system that might have suited you five years ago eventually comes to be a hindrance.

I think part of the path is knowing when to let go. Thankfully, I do not think AMORC stops people when they need to do that.

I have even heard that they are thinking of letting people give up their AMORC membership and maintain membership in their Martinist order, which seems to be an obvious progression.


Options: ReplyQuote
Pages: Previous12
Current Page: 2 of 2

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.