“The student of the history of occultism and the esoteric teachings, and even the average reader of current books and magazines, finds many references to “The Rosicrucians,” a supposed ancient secret society devoted to the study of occult doctrines and the manifestation of occult powers. But when such person seeks to obtain detailed information concerning this supposed ancient “order” he finds himself baffled and defeated. Before acknowledging the futility of the quest, however, he usually investigates one or more so-called “orders” having as a part of their title the word “Rosicrucian,” only to find himself invited to join such “order” upon the payment of a fee or fees ranging from a small amount in some cases to quite large amounts in others, each “order” claiming to be the “only original order,” and asserting that all the others are base imitators.
The truth is that there is not in existence, and never has been in existence, any popular occult order sanctioned by the real Rosicrucians, which anyone may join upon payment of fees, large or small, just as he may join any of the better known fraternal organizations of which there are so many. The true Rosicrucians have no formal organization, and are held together only by the ties of common interest in the occult and esoteric studies, and by the common acceptance of certain fundamental principles of belief and knowledge. This unorganized “order” has members in all walks of life, and in all countries, and its members never announce themselves as “Rosicrucians” to the general public. Admission to this unorganized “order” is never granted upon the payment of a fee, and is possible only upon the request and recommendation of three members in good standing who have themselves been members for a certain period of time, and who have attained a certain degree of proficiency in the attainment of the esoteric knowledge, and in demonstrating the principles discovered by them under the direction of certain higher adepts in the arcane wisdom.
Members of the Rosicrucian body are prominent in the councils of nearly all of the occult organizations and societies throughout the world—in fact, it is these persons who are the real leaven in the general mass, and who keep alive the Sacred Flame of Truth in them. Many Rosicrucians are also prominent in philosophic and scientific circles, and some of them are men quite prominent in the large affairs of the business and professional world, and in the ranks of statesmanship. Others are prominent in movements like the “labor movement” and similar activities. Some are prominent in the councils of the various churches, and others are leaders in Masonry and similar secret societies. In all of such circles the Rosicrucians exert a powerful influence, and always in the direction of good.”
–The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians, by Magus Incognito,