From Pat Deveney's database:
This was a crucial player in the never-ending attempts in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States to organize and regularize (and control) the Martinist, Masonic and neo-Gnostic streams of occultism after the death of Papus (Gerard Encausse) in 1916.
Jean ("Joanny") Bricaud (1881-1934), the founder and editor of this journal, was a central figure in these internecine squabbles. He had been a seminarian in his youth and involved in the Eliate Church of Carmel of Eugene Vintras, and then joined Papus's Martinist Order and Fabre des Essarts' Gnostic Church, in which he was consecrated bishop of Lyon in 1901. In 1907 he and Papus and others like Louis-Sophrone Fugairon, who later wrote for this journal) broke from Fabre des Essarts and formed the Eglise Catholique Gnostique / Eglise Gnostique de France / Eglise Gnostique Universelle, which elected Bricaud as Patriarch Tau Jean II in 1908 -- in time for him, Papus, Theodor Reuss (1855-1923), Rene Guenon, and everyone else prominent in the occult at the time, to take part in the famous 1908 Paris Conference that attempted to establish the hierarchy of the occult world. The most important result of this conference for present purposes was to introduce into the mix the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim and the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis): Bricaud's Eglise Gnostique Universelle became the official church of the Martinist Order, Reuss was consecrated a bishop in the church and made patriarch, Papus was given Memphis and Mizraim degrees and authority and his L'Initiation was deemed the "Official Organ of the Memphis and Mizraim Rites and the O.T.O. in France," and the Gnostic Church was added to Reuss' litany of enterprises allied with the OTO. (On this gallimaufry, see T Apiryon, "History of the E.G.C.," online at ecclesiagnosticauniversalis.org. On the death of Charles Detre, Papus's immediate successor, in 1918, Bricaud became head of the Martinist Order, and immediately came to blows with one of his own bishops (Victor Blanchard) who started a schismatic Martinist Order (on which H. Spencer Lewis and the AMORC later relied for authority, while R.S. Clymer claimed relations with Bricaud's group. In 1920, in another attempt at universal organization, Matthew McBain Thomson (later jailed in Utah for peddling bogus Masonic degrees), who had been the source of one of R.S. Clymer's Masonic fantasies, organized in Zurich a Universal World Masonic Congress, in which Thomson was given the IX degree in the OTO by Reuss and was consecrated Gnostic Legate to Switzerland. This journal was begun in January of the same year, succeeding Bricaud's earlier Reveil Gnostique.
It initially proclaimed itself the official bulletin of the Ordre Martiniste et des Fraternites affiliees, but that modest distinction was almost immediately subsumed under Bricaud's new Societe Occultiste Internationale, the successor of Papus's Groupe independant d'Etudes Esoteriques of the 1890s, which added to the groups under its umbrella the Eglise Catholique Gnostique, the Souverain Sanctuaire du Rite Ancien et Priitif de Memphis-Misraim, and the Ordre de la Rose Croix Kabbalistique et Gnostique. For all the grandeur of its connections the journal was a slight affair with a hodgepodge of short articles on a variety of occult subjects: articles on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, "La Gnose," magic, symbolism (the Flaming Sword), onomantic astrology, secret societies, Rosicrucians, "Lemuria, Lost and Found," the magic plant mandragore, the tarot, talismans, "Sir Aleister Crowley," etc., occasional obituaries (Eugene Vintras, Camille Revel), bibliographies of recent books and articles of note, etc. The journal had contributions by and excerpts from Bricaud, J.H. Probst-Biraben, C. Chevillon, Ernest Bosc (1837-1913, who, it turns out, spent his last years on the French faculty of Columbia University), "S.U. Zanne" (August Vandekerkhove, 1838-1923, the proponent of the Grande Cosmosofie received from his spiritual masters in 1894), and others. BNF; Amsterdamse Universiteitsbibliotheek; BM Lyon.
|Issues:||Annales Initiatiques V2 N7 Jul-sep 1921|
|Annales Initiatiques V6 N24 Oct-dec 1925 Partial|
|Annales Initiatiques V8 N29 Jan-mar 1927|
|Annales Initiatiques V13 N50 Jul-sep 1932|
|Annales Initiatiques V13 N51 Oct-dec 1932|
|Annales Initiatiques V14 N53 Apr-jun 1933|
|Annales Initiatiques V14 N54 Jul-sep 1933|
|Annales Initiatiques V14 N55 Oct-dec 1933|
|Annales Initiatiques V15 N58 Jul-sep 1934 Partial|
|Annales Initiatiques V18 N71 Oct-dec 1937 Partial|