The founder of AMORC, H. Spencer Lewis, was born in 1883.
As a young man he joined the Methodist Church and later was director of the New York Institute for Psychical Research.
claimed that secret documents from the 18th-century Philadelphia Rosicrucians were transmitted to him and this set him on a trek to Europe-where, in 1909, he
was authorized by Rosicrucian "adepts" of the "Sovereign Sanctuary and Rose Cross University"of Belgium to establish his
modern Rosicrucian Order.
At Rosicrucian Park, one can also see documents proclaiming that Lewis
was, in 1921, initiated by the "supreme Magus" of the Swiss Rosicrucians into the "Ancient and Primitive Oriental and Mystery Rites of Memphis and Mizraim, Egypt"--the "Ordo Templi Orientis," a group which is affiliated with many modern satanist organizations.
was also inducted into the "Chivalric Order of Oriental Templars" and given a hereditary coat of arms m 1933.
In 1931 he
became "Hierophant" of the "Great White Brotherhood Lodge for the Occidental World," a position he
held until his
death in 1939.
As "Supreme Autocratic Authority" and "Imperator for North, Central and South America, the British Commonwealth...etc., etc." Lewis
Rosicrucian Order into a modest empire that, today, spends in excess of half a million dollars a year to advertise "the secrets of the ages" in popular and respectable magazines and newspapers.
AMORC boasts 100 lodges in 31 states, 26 in France, and nearly 40 lodges between Canada, England, Brazil, and Africa.
Much of the ritual used in these lodges is adapted from Freemasonry.
If a prospective member does not live near a lodge, he becomes a member of the "Grand Lodge Sanctum" and receives instruction and ritual initiation into the numerous degrees by correspondence Upwards of Seven million "monographs" (a year) are mailed out bi-weekly--all for a fee.
The "neophyte" is instructed to prepare a "home altar" with a table, linen, candles, special rose incense (which he
purchases from headquarters) and a mirror into which he
stares while meditating (!).