Sunday, March 17, 2013
Media Sources book "Secret Societies: The Truth Revealed" provides some more info on Rosicrucians (as in a TV minieries), and on secret society initiations
ABC cancelled its miniseries “Zero Hour” after just three episodes, and the plot of the serieseemed to hinge on the role of the Rosicrucian Order in history.
There is a coffee-table paperback from Media Sources, “Secret Societies: The Truth Revealed”, by Devra Newberger Speregen and Debra Mostow Zakarin, “Secret Socieites: The Truth Revealed”. One of the chapters, on p. 58, tells the story of the Rose and Cross Movement, as founded by Christian Rosenkreuz.
The original rules requires that each group consist of no more than eight members, and that every man be unmarried and a doctor. Each member was to find a replacement for himself before his passing.
I see that I covered some of H. Spencer Lewis’s books for AMORC on April 7, 2007. There was a book on mysticism in the 1970s that spoke of "The Invisible Empire of the Rosicrucians".
I also recall attending a “Rosicrucian Feast” myself at a hotel in midtown Manhattan in March 1977, on a cold, dreary day of the vernal equinox. The three hour ceremony was, for the most part, quiet if ceremonial.
The book covers the whole concept of a secret society or fellowship. The best known of these is probably the Masons. My own father was a Mason.
The most infamous or notorious among "collegiate" secret societies is probably Skull and Bones at Yale. The book describes some of the initiation rituals, including the possible forced nudity and physical humiliation, and the idea that the candidate share his deepest feelings and motives. The sharing is supposed to be protected by the absolute secrecy of the group. It reminds me of a college student who told me one time he was “sworn to secrecy” about a housemate’s novel manuscript about the concept of a stock market in the value of souls.
Perhaps this works its way down to college fraternities. It used to sift down to ordinary freshman classes at college. During my lost semester at the College of William and Mary in the fall of 1961, I heard about a session, the last Friday night in September, in some dorm basement, called “Tribunals”, where selected boys were humiliated (hazed), even by having their legs shaved. I skipped out on this – perhaps helping precipitate a sequence of events that led eventually to my expulsion. I remember one guy saying later at a student dinner, “Mine grew back.”