Portuguese Translation, Part 1
Portuguese Translation, Part 2
On Monday, January 12, 1987 at 11:26 PM, a dark
cloud decended upon the Rosicrucian Order. It was the transition
of Ralph M. Lewis, son of Dr. H. Spencer Lewis. The torch and
the reins of leadership were passed on to the new Imperator Gary L. Stewart.
This announcement was made:
On January 23, 1987, the Board of
Directors of the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, Inc., elected Gary L. Stewart
to the office of Imperator, Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, to succeed Ralph
M. Lewis. The formal Installation of the new Imperator will occur
in the Supreme Temple at the annual Rosicrucian New Year Ceremony on Friday,
March 20, 1987, at 8PM.
The announcement also stated that two other elections
had taken place. Cecil A. Poole was to resume the office of Vice-President,
Supreme Grand Lodge; and Christian Bernard was elected to membership on
the Board of Directors, Supreme Grand lodge, in the office of Supreme Legate.
All went as planned, and in a solemn mystical ceremony, Gary L. Stewart
was duly installed at the appointed time and place as Imperator of the
Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.
Q&A: An Interview
with Imperator Gary L. Stewart
Note: Latest Additions Made to Part 1 on 5/14/99
Latest Additions Made to Part 2 on
5/14/99 (the 108-Year Cycle and organizational questions).
Any Further Questions? Email us at RC
Concerning the events of 1990, following is an
interview with Imperator Stewart, taken over the last few months.
The questions asked here are the most asked by those who have written requesting
Imperator Stewart's side of what occured. There will be no editing
and the answers are those of Imperator Stewart in total.
Q: Imperator Stewart, when did you
learn you were in line for the Imperator's position?
A: "I knew in 1984 because Ralph Lewis told me I was his selection
around the time he appointed me as Grand Master. When Raymond Bernard
resigned from the Board in 1986, he and Christian Bernard already knew
that Ralph has chosen me as his successor. Raymond recommended that
I replace him on the Board and Ralph should make his choice public."
Q: Did Ralph Lewis ever make this
A: "No. Ralph disagreed about making
the choice public, for good reason. What if he wanted to change his
mind, but did agree to put me on the Board."
Q: In your own words, Imperator Stewart,
why did Ralph Lewis choose you over Christian Bernard or any one else?
A: " In Ralph's mind, there was no competition.
Ralph never considered Christian for the office because he didn't fully
trust Christian and certainly didn't think Christian could handle the doctrinal
and ritualistic duties. However, Ralph did want Christian on the
Board and made him an ex-officio board member at the same time I
was elected to the Board."
Q: Why do you suspect that Ralph Lewis did
not trust Christian Bernard?
A: " In 1986 when Raymond Bernard resigned
from the Board, he and Christian wanted Ralph and I to go to France for
a secret meeting. That was when Ralph told me that he was expecting
a coup and figured the European Grand Masters would attempt to force him
to resign. Anyway, Ralph refused to go to France just in case something
was going to happen in San Jose in his absence and he sent me instead.
Christian and Raymond wanted a mini coup to take place and demanded that
Art Piepenbrink and Burnam Schaa be fired."
Q: A very important question, Imperator
Stewart, in two parts: A rumor has it that Ralph Lewis delayed his
retirement because he didn't want Bernard, and with all of this said, Christian
Bernard is now Imperator of AMORC. Can you tell me your thoughts
A: "Certainly. The Office of Imperator
is for life. There is no retirement and Ralph Lewis never considered
retirement. To answer your second question. The title of Imperator
of AMORC is a matter of opinion. For him to hold that position, he
had to dissolve AMORC and start a new AMORC outside of the country while
everyone else was in the confused midst of a legal dog and pony show. Furthermore,
he had to dissolve the SGL (Supreme Grand Lodge) and AMORC Constitution
and redefine the Office as being nothing more that being a corporate CEO
that is subservient to the Grand Masters. Also, it should be noted
that I was never removed as Imperator of AMORC. I was removed as
President and Director of the Corporation. AMORC spent 7 months and
2.5 million dollars in legal fees to get the court to say that a president
(i.e. Imperator as that word was redifined to mean President) of a Corporation
could be removed by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors, which
was already law and a point that I never challenged. The issue was
whether or not the traditional Imperator could be removed in the same manner.
According to the AMORC Constitution, an Imperator could only be removed
after being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and then only
after a Rosicrucian Tribunal was held. Subsequently, the Courts never
made a decision regarding our traditional values, only our corporate.
At any rate, Christian is an "Imperator" of a Corporation formed in 1991.
I am the Imperator of a Rosicrucian lineage manifest in AMORC from 1915
to 1990 and now resides in CR+C, Confraternity
of the Rose Cross."
Q: Being Imperator did you not see this coup
A: "I wasn't entirely unaware of it, but I first became aware
of that type of thing in 1982. I also knew that something was afoot
but didn't know exactly what. I suppose if I had involved myself
in the political intrigue and atmosphere of distrust, I could have controlled
the situation. But to do so is contrary to my nature as well as counter-productive
to the work of an Imperator."
Q: When did you first become aware of the
real trouble behind the scenes in 1990?
A: "As far as the immediate events regarding
1990, I kinda expected something to happen but not until November, 1990.
I anticipated that the French, German, and Nordic jurisdictions would make
a play for independence and that they would attempt to get the Dutch and
the Portuguese jurisdictions to go with them. But as far as what happened
in April 1990, [reference to civil lawsuit against Imperator Stewart] that
was more of a last minute effort which, in my opinion, was an intent to
cover up the fact that I "accidently" uncovered one hell of a massive siphoning
off of AMORC donations and a tax evasion scam and kickbacks to a couple
of officers from some of our larger donors. In other words, I was
suddenly staring at millions of dollars being embezzeled. If I had
accepted that embezzlement was actually going on, I would have immediately
gone to the FBI. However, I was slow to accept that. Rather,
I thought I was looking as massive
Q: Imperator Stewart, you mentioned in a
previous statement that AMORC was looked upon as a Corporation and AMORC
spent $1.2 million in this regard. Would this not have a effect on
the status of their membership and redefining AMORC's Incorporation structure
and legal status?
A: "The issue of members/no-members came up as a result of the
lawsuit in '90. But, just so you know, the IRS changed the non-profit
categories in 1979. [Ref.:
Earlier AMORC Articles of Inc., as of 1976] They looked
at AMORC and saw it as a museum, at the time, museum admittance was free
to the public, and, therefore reclassified AMORC as a public benefit corporation
as as to conform to the new laws. They wrote a letter informing AMORC
that was what they were doing and informed us we could contest the ruling
if we felt they were wrong. Piepenbrink got the letter, scratched
his head, shrugged his shoulders and filed the letter away without ever
telling anyone. When I got on the Board in 1986, I saw the letter
and brought up the fact we were misclassified by the IRS, and began taking
steps to correct it. However, when 1990 came about, it was better
for the lawsuit if we were a public benefit rather than a fraternal order
because if we were the latter, 'Imperator' would mean something. [Ref.:
AMORC Articles of Inc. 4/23/90] Anyway, on advice of council,
they wanted to make sure the courts saw that AMORC didn't have members."
Just for clarification, the $1.2 million amount was how much money we transferred
back to the French Grand Lodge of which amount would be applied toward
the purchase of property in Canada upon which would be built a retreat.
The $1.2 million was only a partial amount that Christian spent as he had
other money he was using in addition. As to how much it cost Christian
to dissolve the SGL and incorporate a new one on that property, I have
absolutely no idea."
Q: So in essence you are saying that according
to the IRS, AMORC was recognized as not having members nor was it a fraternal
organization since 1979 and was classified as a public benefit corporation?
A: "Correct, but there's more to it than just that. In
the eyes of the IRS, AMORC was basically a museum and that is why they
gave AMORC the 501 (c) 3 public benefit status. Had the SGL, in 1979,
taken the time to study the IRS letter and look at the incorporation options
instead of just filing it away, they would have corrected the classification.
There was no intent on the part of the 1979 Board to be incorrectly classifiedthey
just were not paying that much attention and probably just didn't understand
"However, in the
reclassification in 1990, there was a definite intent to be classified
as a public benefit corporation and a definite intent to stipulate that
there was no membership. Actually, prior to Christian and company's
reclassification, the issue of whether or not AMORC had members was moot.
It was blatantly obvious that AMORC had members as was quite apparent in
the Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Lodge Constitutions.
"Furthermore, the IRS could care less whether or not there were three
members or a million members because membership or lack thereof is not
an issue regarding classification. However, how those members
relate to decision making policies is relevant. Anyway, from
1986 to 1990 we were working to redefine our operation as a fraternal
Order in line with a proper classificationwhich
would be a 501 (c) 10. After 1990, the new AMORC attempted to use
the improper classification to a legal and controlling advantage.
"But frankly, in my opinion, this entire matter is about breaking up
the most affluent Grand Lodge (the English) and oppressing its members.
[Ref./Back To: Old/New AMORC 4/90 Articles
of Inc.] During a 1991 Board meeting the new Board defined
the parameters for establishing a Grand Lodge. They decided it was
no longer to be defined by language but by numbers. If memory
serves me, I believe they said any country with 2000 members could petition
to become a Grand Lodge. The interesting thing, though, is that this
only seems to apply to the English jurisdiction, as it was divided into
three Grand LodgesNorth America; the UK (including
Ghana and Nigeria); and Australasia. What was once unified and strong
is now diversified and weak. You do not find such a break up in the
French or other jurisdictions."
Q: Was the so called membership ever informed
of this either before 1990 or after?
A: "Not to my knowledge. After 1990 I don't know if the
"membership" was informed about the membership issue. However, prior
to 1990 there was no such notification because there was no such issue.
Even though AMORC was misclassified in 1979, it was not done so with intent
and everybody knew we were a fraternal Order and that those who paid dues
were members of the Order.
us now go back to the massive incompetancy you uncovered and please continue
as to what happened thereafter. 1)
To: "massive incompetency" statement] 2)
[Ref./Back To: Andorra Project Trust Account] 3) [Ref./Back
To: AMORC Letter to New Member]
A: " Just prior to the 1990 Board meeting,
Christian [Bernard] proposed that we fund him with $1.2 million (or close
to that amount) so that he could buy the property in Quebec, ostensibly
to build a Rosicrucian retreat. Since the funds he wanted were funds
invested here on behalf of the French Grand Lodge, we agreed to it.
He sent us the AMORC Swiss bank account number to transfer the funds to.
In 1990 and before, I don't know what the laws are now, French citizens
and organizations were not allowed to have Swiss accounts. However,
AMORC maintained a Swiss account that Swiss members paid their dues into.
Twice a year, France would send in their financial reports and they never
exceed about $20,000 dollars in that account, or so they reported.
Anyway, that was the account we were supposed to transfer the money to,
but about an hour after he faxed me the account number to us, he called
and said he made a mistake and gave us the wrong number. We transferred
the funds to the new number, which later, when I checked in our records,
was not a number we had on record as being an AMORC account. The
first number he sent was, indeed, the AMORC account. I believe it
was two days that I decided to check up on what was going on, after all,
no one in their right mind is going to make a mistake on a bank number.
Since my name was a signatory on the AMORC Swiss account and both accounts
were in the same bank, I wired the bank asking for an
account balance for both accounts. They responded that the AMORC
account held 4 million dollars, and we thought it was $20,000, but they
not furnish me information about the other account, where I sent $1.2 million,
because it wasn't an AMORC account nor was I a signatory on that account.
"Apparently, they notified Christian that I was
making inquiries because a few days later when he came to San Jose for
the Board meeting, he came into my office as soon as he arrived and was
quite upset that I had tried to 'access' his account (in other words, the
man confirmed to me that the other account was his). Anyway, I told
him that both his account and the AMORC account
was illegal and he had one month to clean up the mess up. Peter Bindon
was with me when we had this conversation. This conversation is going
on about the 18th of March, 1990 and I knew then that the garbage was going
to be hitting the fan pretty soon. What I did not know
until much later was that Christian and Donna [O'Neill] spent time up in
San Francisco that week retaining the law firm. What I figured was
going to happen was that we would have the Grand Masters meeting in Edinburg
and we would decide to expand the SGL Board. That was when I expected
that a couple of GM's [Grand Masters] would then make a motion to become
independent, which I didn't mind that much because we held title to all
the properties where the Grand Lodges resided. I would have had no
problem serving them with eviction notices." [Ref./Back
To: "massive incompetency" statement]
Q: There has been
much talk about Andorra and Pennsylvania and why you sent money there.
This seems to be the basis or at least the cause of the lawsuit.
Imperator Stewart could you describe, in your own words, what this was
all about and clarify why this was so important? [Go
To: Events Precipitating Accusation of Embezzelement]
A: "Certainly...It's not entirely accurate to say ' I ' sent
money to Andorra. It's more accurate to say the Supreme Grand Lodge
sent money to a Supreme Grand Lodge bank account in Andorra and I was the
officer that authorized that particular transaction. The initial
lawsuit was attempting to claim that I acted on my own without Board approval
and corporate resolution and that I was attempting to embezzle the funds.
The fact is that the transfer was made with the full knowledge and approval
of every corporate director. A transfer to one AMORC account to another
doesn't require a corporate resolution. However, if we were to spend
that money, it wouldand none of the money
"Anyway, the account in Andorra was in the name of the Gran Logia
Suprema (Spanish for Supreme Grand Lodge) and the signatories
on that account were the SGL officers. The intent was that after
the account was set up, the Supreme Grand Lodge would then establish a
Trust utilizing a portion of the money in the account of which amount would
be determined by corporate resolution for the purpose of establishing a
Spanish Grand Lodge in Spain. The advantage of having the Spanish
Grand Lodge in Spain was enhanced member services in all Spanish speaking
countries. Trade agreements between Spain and South American countries
would allow the importation of Spanish monographs to those countries without
the paying of taxes and duty. With other advantages such as printing,
etc. We would then be able to base the dues rates based upon each
country's economy rather than on the US economy. The advantage of
having an Andorran bank account was because of interest rates and the fact
that Andorra could deal with a number of currencies we couldn't deal with
in the US and some other countries. As an example, we could not collect
member dues from Ghana because of that country's banking restrictions.
However, Ghana's banking agreements with Andorra would allow the legal
exchange. Naturally, it's all a bit more complicated than I briefly
mentioned here, but you should know that the Order in 1990 had about 300
bank accounts worldwide, as I am certain it does now. On a daily
basis, we transfererd money between accounts all the time. But this
particular time, well ... great propaganda for a coup.
"Regarding Pennsylvania, at the annual SGL Board meeting in March, 1990,
we unanimously passed a corporate resolution to make Nelson Harrison our
Financial Consultant. We had temporarily retained him in February
and he assisted us in reorganizing our finances. Through his consulting
firm (based in Pennsylvania) we were negotiating an enhanced membership
benefit package which would include, amongst other things, health insurance,
credit card offer, etc. In April, when we were transferring the $3
million to Andorra, we also transferred 500,000 to be applied toward fees
and funding the project. Unknown to myself at the time, in February
Burnam Schaa made a 250,000 dollar payment to them. This
is important in the lawsuitbecause I was
accused of having made that payment and it wasn't until 1993
when AMORC was sued for insurance fraud with regards to the lawsuit, that
the documentation showing Burnam authorized the transfer appeared[Ref/Back
To: INS Insurance re Negotiations]. Also,
when transferring funds from California to Europe, time changes and banking
hours are such that the funds have to sit overnight in an East Coast bank
before the transfer can be completed. Since we were sending the $500,000
to Pennsylvania anyway, we decided to overnight the $3 million there as
Q: Imperator Stewart, we have come this far and there is
a question that should be answered. Were you surprised when you were
served or did you have an idea or feeling you were targeted for a suit?
A: "It was a surprise! I was supposed to go to Fresno on
Good Friday and stay there for Easter. But i didn't. I went
into work that morning (the Park was closed) and a few minutes after I
got there, the fax machine started working as Christian's attorney's were
serving me notice of the hearing that afternoon. They said
they tried to contact me at home, etc. But they didn't. Anyway,
what happened was I was able to get an attorney to show up at the hearing
and a decision for the motion for the temporary restraining order was deferred
until the following Monday. Everybody was surprised about what happened
on Monday. They got a temporary restraining order simply because
my attorneys never showed up. I don't think they ever thought or
even really planned to get me out of the Park. I think all they really
wanted was to cause a lot of legal and propaganda confusion so they could
make a run for it. But no, I had no knowledge of a lawsuit nor was
there ever any mention of one until I was served about four hours before
the hearing. Nevertheless, the suit was prepared about two weeks
before it was served, which was even before funds were transferred
to Andorra even though everyone knew it was going to happen."
Q: If one wanted to delve deeply into this matter, other than
what you have said so far, what would you suggest they do, short of obtaining
their own court records as has been done here?
A: "In this particular case, I can only give you my side of the
story, but I encourage you to get all sides if you possibly can.
Those who would be in the know (first hand experience) from AMORC side
of things are Christian Bernard, Burnam Schaa, Wilhelm Raab, Irving Souderland,
Charles Parucker, and Donna O'Neil. Anyone else can only give you, at best,
second hand versions of the story, party lines, or say things based entirely
upon their own assumptions."
Q: Why do we find such a reluctance to discuss this situation
in AMORC and why do you think there is so much fear attached to it?
A: "I think the fear that you and others feel from AMORC is probably
generated not so much with their intent to cause fear, but rather from
a few trying to cover up their own ignorance or lack of confidence in being
able to answer a question adequately, and the depth the one who asked it,
requires. In my opinion, the art of mysticism requires that
anyone who knows enough to ask a question should get a complete answer.
My answer here is not in regard to AMORC's reluctance to discuss the lawsuit,
but rather, with regard to answering doctrinal
questions put to them by their own members. This question was
asked by someone who stated that many people felt intimidated by the responses
they received when questions were asked.
"As far as answering the lawsuit issue, from the responses I've seen
emanating from AMORC over the past few years the reason goes beyond ignorance
and lack of confidence. Here
the intent is definitely to misinform. As an example, in 1992 Kristie
Knutsen sent a letter out to the membership informing them that less than
five years previously, the English Grand Lodge served 70,000 members, and
that because of the lawsuit, they lost half that amount. In actuality,
from about 1980 to 1990, membership in the English Jurisdiction remained
relatively constant of between 34 to 36 thousand. At one time1977-78
I believe, membership skyrocketed to about 70,000, but that was because
of the popularity of the advent of the commercial New Age. Or in another
letter, she [Kristie Knutson] wrote that in March
(1992) AMORC made a motion to have my counter suit against AMORC dismissed
and that I agreed to that dismissal without contest. In actuality
To: GLS Letter 6/29/93], I instructed my new attorney,
in November, 1991, to drop my counter suit because I had no intentions
to pursue it, and on January 7, 1992 that suit was dropped in court by
a motion instigated by myself [Ref./Back
To: AMORC 1999 letter to new AMORC member]. Or Wilhelm
Raab in letters to his hierarchy members saying I was found guilty of 80
criminal charges and spent time in prison. These type responses are
not written with the intent to cause intimidation or are not the result
of ignorance, but rather, as an intent to gain sympathy and/or increase
morale through the use of misinformation.
"Anyway, every Rosicrucian is obligated to seek the truth and to do
that, they must have accessibility to either unbiased information or a
lot of different interpretations so they can at least make a conscientious
choice. It appears we have a new generation of Rosicrucians just
now becoming aware of what happened to the R+C (Rosicrucians) eight years
ago and, understandably, they want proper information. Your and Linda's
site can at least give them the legal papers filed, court rulings, and
interviews to accomplish that end. At the very least it has important
historical value, but I believe it also has a much greater value as well.
The veterans know this, but this point can't be over-emphasized to those
just becoming aware of events: It is not so important which side
(if any) an individual Rosicrucian chooses in this issue. What is
important is that they understand all sides so they can individually lay
to rest any doubts, because our Work is not about the bickering, but about
the Spiritual Quest. I can only speak for myself and only offer my
understanding and opinions. Hopefully, everyone who reads what I
write will understand that. Ultimately, the measure of one's worth
is not by word, but by action."
Q: Some people look upon this Lawsuit and the resulting consequences
as a "coup". Would you describe it in that manner?
A: "That is what it was. It was basically about European Officers
wanting the Order to "return" to Europe. Some of them felt that no American
could ever be mystical let alone an Imperator. That is why the largest
AMORC jurisdiction, the English, was broken up into three smaller jurisdictions.
Incidentally this attitude was prevalent in the late 70's and by 1982,
Ralph thought that they might pull the coup on him. We talked
about the possibility of a coup quite a bit and when it gets down to the
bottom line, I felt it was more important to do what was right than it
was to play politics of the soul."
Q: There seems to be a misconception
of the title "Imperator" as to the legal issue involved in the lawsuit.
Can you explain?
A: "AMORC, in court, defined the Imperator as being a 'Rosicrucian
word meaning president of a corporation.' They denied the 'traditional'
aspects of the Office thereby effectively making the title a figurehead.
on the other hand, maintain the original tradition." [Ref.:
news clipping, 3--11/20/90
news clipping] [Ref./Back
To: AMORC Letter to New Member Re Court ruling "in favor of AMORC"]
Q: Is it true that AMORC was dissolved into a new Corporation?
A: "Yes and no one knew, not even the courts, that the old AMORC
was entirely dissolved and a newer corporation was formed in Canada in
January of 1991. It wasn't until May 1993 when
the court told AMORC to get their case off the docket, that anyone found
out about that. [Ref./Back
To: Negotiations Time Line] The corporation now in San
Jose, the English Grand Lodge, was also formed in January 1991. [Ref.:
English Speaking Grand Lodge Articles of Inc., filed for on 8/21/90]
Q: A question has risen on the differences of the monographs
used by CR+C (Confraternity of the
Rose Cross) and the ones used by AMORC. Can you give some insight
on this difference?
A: "As far as AMORC is concerned, major editing of the original
monographs started taking place in the early to mid 1930's when AMORC began
to emphasize home Sanctum membership over Lodge membership. The original
monographs (written from 1915 to 1924) were written with the intent to
be read outloud to members attending Lodges and not to be studied at home
(members didn't receive copies of the lessons, only Lodge Masters did).
Home Sanctum membership didn't start until 1924, and only then as an experiment.
It took about 10 years to phase out the Lodge membership structure and
replace it with Home Sanctum membership.
"As a result, major monograph editing began ostensibly to change the
language of the monograph to conform to the individual members reading
it for themselves as opposed to hearing it from a Lodge Master. In
other words, in those areas of the monograph where it might state:
'Now, the Lodge Master shall call for discussion ...' would become:
'Now you should review what you just read and write, in your own words
....' Unfortunately, the editing job was delegated to others because
H.S. Lewis was still engaged in writing new monographs. As a result things
got out of hand because the editors didn't live by the law: 'if it
ain't broke, don't fix it.' Maybe a bit of arrogance snuck into the
editing process, because it didn't take long for a lot of Lewis' thoughts
to become totally obscured and even contradicted. The CR+C
[Confraternity of the Rose Cross] uses monographs dating from 1915 to about
1934 and you would be surprised how different they are in comparison with
those edited as early as 1940."
Q: With all the legal battles fought and the final dismissal
of the charges against you do you legally own the the rights to the original
A: "Constitutionally and Traditionally, the Imperator has complete
control over everything doctrinal and ritualistic. Everything I have
in this regard, rightfully belongs to the Office I hold. It was passed
to me by Ralph and I will pass it on to my successor when the time comes.
You must remember that the AMORC of today is not the AMORC of 1990 and
before. The monographs they now
use are not the Lewis monographs and were being prepared as early as 1982
under Christian's authority . Those monographs were copyrighted under
the new AMORC. The trademarks they now hold were acquired after 1990
and, a lot of the copyrights they claim to have, they don't. The
monographs (all doctrinal and ritualistic matters) belong to the Imperator.
But remember, I'm not using the same monographs that AMORC is. The
ones they use weren't even introduced until after 1990 [Ref.
Kristie Knutson 5/92 Letter, Part 19].
"The monographs written by Dr. Lewis and those later monographs written
by Ralph Lewis were never signed over to the Supreme Grand Lodge because
they were intended to remain in the possession and care of the Office of
Imperator. That is, they are passed from Imperator to Imperator as
the Tradition dictates. That's probably one of the reasons why I'm
issuing the original monographs while Christian [Bernard] isn't.
Now, Christian may have had his monographs copyrighted by the SGL
in that in France, copyright is owned by the institution that is publishing,
and not the author. But as to what Christian has done and why, I
Q: Why then do the monographs of AMORC still state they
hold the copyrights to them and must be returned when one leaves the Order?
A: "I presume the new ones doas
did the old ones. But because the present AMORC is a 501 (c) 3 public
benefit organization created to inform the public about Rosicrucianism,
they have no ground to stand on if someone decides to keep the monographs
after they leave the Order. If they incorporated as a 501 (c) 10
Order, they would be able to enforce that rule. But, they chose
not to and for the life of me, I can't figure out why they decided not
to be a fraternal order as defined by the IRS."
Q: After the 1990 lawsuit and the final
dismissal of the complaint against you dated August 10, 1993, you left
AMORC as Imperator, did you, still retaining the Title Imperator, join
a group called Ancient Rosae Crucis, ARC for short, and why?
A: "I was never really with ARC. ARC was essentially formed
to furnish monographs to those AMORC members who left because of the 1990
situation. It evolved into an Order in and of itself and I was asked
to be their Imperator. I tentatively accepted on the condition that
certain criteria were met. None of that criteria was ever met and
when Paul Walden and Ashley McFadden [husband and wife] made their power
play, I determined they had no intentions of doing anything other than
what they wanted, and so I walked away from it and started CR+C,
today known as The Confraternity of the Rose Cross."
Q: What did Mr. Walden and Ms. McFadden want to do that caused
you to walk away?
A: "Paul and Ashley decided they wanted to control the majority
of the ARC board (incidentally, I was never a member of that board) and
accused two members of being disloyal to ARC. Paul called a special
meeting of the board to be held at the same time everyone was at an OMCE
meeting in Philadelphia and since those two members didn't show up at the
ARC meeting, they were removed from the board. Anyway, they pulled
a power play that didn't work in their favor too well. Most everyone
walked away from them. ARC only had about 200 members at the time
and they lost around 180 because of their actions. Also, as I said,
I never really fully affiliated with ARC. I agreed to work with and
support them until such time as they were able to establish the conditions
necessarywhich included holding a tribunal;
ensuring that they would serve all members world wide and without discrimination;
and other similar things. Basically, ARC wanted to be exclusively
American and predominantly Christian."
Q: Please correct me if I am wrong, do I understand you to say
that ARC is now using the original monographs of H. Spencer Lewis?
A: "ARC doesn't use the original HS Lewis monographs. They
use a mixture of monographs that were issued by AMORC from the 1950's to
80'sbut mostly they use those edited and
printed by AMORC between 1975 and 1980. Close to 100 people were
involved in typing the monos onto disk for Ashleyseveral
of those people are presently on the Rosicrucian Free Speech Forum."
Q: What I need now is more on the Canadian end of this story,
and what happened to the "retreat" that was planned.
A: "I don't really know that much about the Canadian end of things
as the purchase of property, etc, happened after the lawsuit started.
As far as I know, the retreat is still there. In the summer of 1990,
a French-Canadian member contacted me and sent a copy of the title deed
to me, but I no longer have that document. According to the document
sent to me, the property was purchased by a corporation (not AMORC) which
was controlled by Christian, his wife, and someone else living in Quebec.
At the time I saw the document, I remember thinking that someone was setting
up their own personal little empire. I thought it a bit hypocritical
that I was the one being sued for embezzlement."
Q: After almost
three years of court appearances and the involvement of all those attorney's,
who approached who in the settlement and why?
A: "AMORC's attorneys approached me [Ref.
5/27/93 Letter from atty. Peteros]. As to why, it
appears to be because the courts told AMORC to either bring the case to
trial or drop it because they wanted it off their docket. But, there
also appears to be more to it than that. About a month before I was
contacted by AMORC's attorneys saying they wanted to settle the case, another
Law Firm (Wallace B. Adams from San Francisco) who represented one of AMORC's
Insurance carriers flew me out to San Francisco and interviewed me for
three days. As I found out, they were contemplating filing an Insurance
Fraud suit against AMORC that directly related to the Lawsuit AMORC filed
against me [Ref.
5/27/93 GLS Letter to Peteros]. To make a long story
short, the law firm decided to file their suit against AMORC, filed the
initial papers (they are a matter of public record), and shortly afterwards,
everything suddenly settled. I don't know the particulars of AMORC's
settlement with their insurance carrier, but I do know AMORC had to pay
them to drop the suit."
Q: Did the Courts ever make a remark that there were no
grounds for a further continuation of the suit, in other words was the
suit deemed goundless and why?
A: "I don't recall if a remark like that was ever made in court
or not, least not when I was present. But I don't think the Courts
cared one way or the other if the suit continued or was dropped.
They only cared about getting it off their docket as it had been sitting
there collecting dust for three years (as far as the court was concerned,
there was a lot of activity between lawyers throughout the entire time).
As far as 'no grounds for a further
continuation of the suit,' that's basically what a dismissal
with prejudice meansthat is, they
can't bring the issue up again. The court didn't order that, they
just rubber stamped it. The dismissal with prejudice was determined
by virtue of the settlementregardless
if either party still believes the other was guilty or not, we agreed not
to bring it up again. As to whether or not the suit was groundless,
yes it was, but you can't really say the court ordered that determination.
Anyway, it was totally groundless and as far as I'm concerned that was
the reason why AMORC never took this thing to trial and never really intended
to. As to why their case was groundless, I never did anything I was
accused of doing. Personally, I think
that is apparent by virtue of the type of case filed against me.
It was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.
Q: Imperator Stewart, there has been a rumor that an "internal
board of review" was held by AMORC to review the whole situation in 1993;
that the conclusion of that review was that they, the Board, had to admit
to themselves, behind closed doors, that the charges against you, the Imperator,
were groundless and that they, the Board, had expelled you without just
cause. Can you please comment on this statement?
A: "I'm pretty sure that what you heard was rumor, but since
I wasn't involved with AMORC at that time, I can't say with absolute certainty
that an internal board of review didn't happen. However, if it did, this
is the first I ever heard about it. I would take an educated guess
that the source of such a rumor stemming from that time frame probably
revolved around the meetings AMORC directors had with their attorneys because
of the latest events. The courts had set a trial date for June, 1993;
the Insurance Company was filing an intervention in the case for insurance
fraud; and I'm pretty sure AMORC's attorneys went to them and said there
was no case and a quick settlement with everyone concerned was their best
option. But for them to meet for the purpose of reviewing whether
or not they 'expelled' me for just cause, just my opinion, but I don't
think so. They already knew that their charges were groundlessat
least according to Christian who had made it a point to tell me the day
before the lawsuit was filed (on Thursday, April 12, 1990) that neither
he nor any of the Grand Masters thought I was guilty of any wrongdoing.
At the time he told me that, the subject of embezzlement et. al. never
came up and I didn't understand why he was saying that to me. Nevertheless,
it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to hold a review about something they
Q: Imperator Stewart can you tell us something about the
ceremony to "install" Christian Bernard?
A: "I have no direct knowledge about that installation ceremony
except to know that the one they used was not the same one Ralph Lewis
wrote. Why Christian chose not to use Ralph's ritual, I don't know.
As to the ritual used for Christian, I was told by one of the Supreme Grand
Lodge directorswho is still serving in that
capacitythat Christian had asked Martin Erler
(an esteemed German Rosicrucian who is a successor to Emile Dantinneor
Sar Hieronymous as he is more popularly known) to perform the installation.
I was also told that Mr. Erler turned Christian down. But as I said,
I have no direct knowledge about this and can only go by what I was told.
"However, regardless of that, I am led to believe (by the same source
cited above) that the installation ceremony finally settled upon and used
for Christian's installation was one written by the German Grand Master
of AMORC, Wilhelm Raab. As I understand it, it was written by Wilhelm,
but it must be pointed out that Wilhelm Raab had a heart attack around
the time of the installation, and, as a result, couldn't conduct the installation.
I am told that Irving Sounderland installed Christan instead."
Q: Is it true that you, Imperator Stewart, excommunicated all
members of the Board of Directors on April 12, 1990.
A: "No, that is not truealthough
if memory serves me correctly, the directors voted to excommunicate me
later that day, or the next. Nevertheless, what I did on the 12th
was to try and reverse the decision voted on earlier that day to expand
the Board of Directors to include the Grand Masters and revert back to
the five member board standard. I did not want to remove them as
Grand Masters or memberswhich is what excommunication
would have donebut rather, only to remove
them from the Board of Directors. I did, however, terminiate the
employment of Burnam Schaa and Warren Russef, but did not excommunicate
them either. Constitutionally, a member of the Supreme Grand Lodge
also has to be a member in good standing of AMORC. Had I excommunicated
them, thereby removing their membership, then, by virtue of that, they
could no longer be directors. I was told that would have held up
in court. However, I chose not to do that because I considered such
an action to be an abuse of my power since my intent was not to remove
anyone's membership or position as a Grand Master. In other words,
I wasn't going to exercise a power for the sake of convenience."
Q: Imperator Stewart, last month (Nov., 1998) in a Forum
during the AMORC Convention in Brazil, Grand Master Charles Parucker said
that one of the reasons the Board of Directors had for removing you, was
that you wanted a neophyte to run the Spanish Grand Lodge and the Board
didn't agree with this decision. Could you please comment on this
statement and clarify this further for all of us?
A: "As far as I know, the reasons they come up with regarding
my removal were stated in the complaints filed with the Superior Court
in San Jose, California and had to do with alleged embezzlement and related
accusations. Although I learned after I had appointed the new Grand
Master and after he had been unanimously approved by the Board that there
was some disagreement amongst some of the Grand Masters regarding my choice,
I don't think that issue was a reason back thenan
excuse perhaps, but not a reason. Rather, I tend to think that Charles'
alleged statement is more of an attempt at a justification of past actions
than anything else considering that all the allegations filed in the lawsuit
have been dismissed.
"Nevertheless, in response to Charles' statement, the individual that
he is referring to and is alleging to have been a neophyte at the time
is Dr.Antonio de Nicholas. Antonio held a tenured position as a professor
of philosophy at the University of New York, Stonybrook prior to leaving
that position to volunteer his services and expertise for AMORC.
At the time, he had already spent 30 years pursuing the Spiritual Path
and had published no less than 17 books on a variety of topics including
spiritual discipline and practice, philosophy, and poetry. Although
he was a member of AMORC for only about a year when I appointed him as
Grand Master of the Spanish Grand Lodge, it could hardly be said that he
was a neophyte in any other respect except for the length of time he paid
AMORC dues. He was well versed in Rosicrucianism
philosophically, mystically, and in practicealthough
his previous experience in the R+C (Rosicrucians) did not come from AMORC
or any other popularly known Rosicrucian organization. But neither
did Raymond Andrea's and other early AMORC Grand Masters' experiences when
they were appointed to their positions. That is, when H. Spencer
Lewis appointed Andrea as the Grand Master of England, it could've been
construed by some that he was also a neophyte because he was made a Grand
Master and a member at the same time. Contrary to what Charles and
perhaps other AMORC directors might believe or presently practice, the
standard for appointment should be based upon the quality of experience
and ability and not only by the number of years a person has paid their
"Also, you have to consider that Dr. Lewis himself was appointed as
a Grand Master at about the same time he became a Rosicrucianand
this was because of his abilities.
"As I stated above, contrary to Charles' alleged statement that the
AMORC Board didn't agree with my decision to appoint Antonio as the Spanish
Grand Master, they most certainly did and I would expect that if he thought
it important enough to even make such a statement, that he should have
been conscientous enough to have been more thorough and fair as to what
he meant and in which context he was speaking. Perhaps Charles doesn't
recognize the authority of the previous AMORC Board that was in existence
from 1915 until April, 1990 and which always consisted of five members,
but regardless if he does or not, it was that Board which enforced my appointment.
I appointed Antonio as Grand Master in early March, 1990 and at our annual
Supreme Grand Lodge Board Meeting held every March around the time of the
Roosicrucian New year, my appointment of Antonio was unanimously approved
by the Board. At that time, the Board consisted of myself, Christian
Bernard (who was also a Grand Master), Peter Bindon, Warren Russeff, and
Burnam Schaaall of whom approved that appointment
without ever voicing one word of concern or objection.
"Consequently, to say that the Board didn't agree with my decision and
was a reason for my 'removal' simply isn't true. However, some of
the Grand Masters (with, apparently, the notable exception of Christian
who was already on the Board and voted in favor of Antonio) did not want
Antonio as a Grand Master as I discovered after the fact at our Grand Master's
Council meeting held in Edinburgh in early April. Wilhelm Raab was
most vocal about this.
"Nevertheless, by the time we adjourned the Edinburgh meeting in favor
of holding a special Supreme Grand Lodge meeting in San Jose for the purpose
of expanding the Board to include the Grand Masters, the issue of Antonio's
appointment came up at the special Board meeting after the Grand Masters
were elected to the Board and they called for a vote to remove him as a
Grand Master and passed it. But I don't think the real reason they
wanted him removed was because he was a 'neophyte.' In fact, I think
the real reason they wanted him gone was just the opposite and was mostly
about a few Grand Masters being jealous of (and perhaps a bit intimidated
by) Antonio's experiences and abilities. Antonio speaks several languages
including Latin in which most early Rosicrucian texts are written, is a
professor of philosophy, well versed in the spiritual discipline, successful
in business, etc. In other words, he most certainly was (and still
is) more than qualified and capable of being a Grand Master.
"Anyway, as can be seen, there is much more to the story of what happened,
and it behooves every Rosicrucian who has an interest in this matter, regardless
of their affiliation, to seek out the opinions and views of all people
Q: What became of Dr. Nicholas?
Did he join the CR+C or remain with AMORC?
+ + +
A: "He was excommunicated from AMORC and
named as a defendant in their suit the same as I was. He is currently
with CR+C and I recognize him as a Grand Master even though it is a non-functioning
position within the CR+C at the moment."
The interview will continue as additional questions are submitted
To Interview with Imperator Stewart,
Part 2: Q&A
The 108-Year Cycle Examined, and Other Items
Click For: Portuguese
Translation, Part 1 Interview
Translation, Part 2 Interview
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