Rosicrucian Order, AMORC vs. 
Gary L. Stewart

Rosicrucian Reorganization 1990: Q&A

Page 3
 Q & A:
The Transition of an Imperator and
 Subsequent Events

Cross of the Rosicrucian Brethren

Click For:  Portuguese Translation, Part 1
Click For:  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 Q&A <>

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 announcement?
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 on this?
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 coming?
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 incompetancy."

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 classified—they just were not paying that much attention and probably just didn't understand the options. 

"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 classification—which 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 Lodges—North 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. 

Q: Let us now go back to the massive incompetancy you uncovered and please continue as to what happened thereafter.  1) [Ref./Back 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 could 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 would—and none of the money was spent. 

"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 well." 

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 time—1977-78 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 [Ref./Back 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.  We [OMCE—CR+C], on the other hand, maintain the original tradition."  [Ref.: 1--Summary Judgment2--8/27/90 news clipping3--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 monographs?
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 don't know."

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 do—as 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 fraternal 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 necessary—which 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's—but 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 Ashley—several 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 means—that 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 settlement—regardless 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 groundless—at 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 already knew." 

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 directors—who is still serving in that capacity—that Christian had asked Martin Erler (an esteemed German Rosicrucian who is a successor to Emile Dantinne—or 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 true—although 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 members—which is what excommunication would have done—but 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 then—an 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— historically, philosophically, mystically, and in practice—although 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 dues. 

"Also, you have to consider that Dr. Lewis himself was appointed as a Grand Master at about the same time he became a Rosicrucian—and 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 Schaa—all 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 concerned." 

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 and answered. 

Text Links:
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               The 108-Year Cycle Examined, and Other Items
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