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Periodical: Initiates

Summary  From Pat Deveney's database:

Initiates, The.
A Rosicrucian Magazine.
Other titles: The Rosicrucian Brotherhood
1908--1910 Monthly
Allentown, PA. Publisher: Philosophical Publishing Co.
Editor: Reuben Swinburne Clymer.
Succeeds: Rosicrucian Brotherhood Succeeded by: The Initiates and the People (1912, 1929)
1/1, April 1908-5/6, September 1910. $1.00 a year, 10 cents a copy. 5 x 9, 24-52 pp.

Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966) began this journal as a means of proselytizing for the occult, New Thought and Rosicrucian groups he was in the process of gathering into his hands. The first issue announced that it was incorporating the unfulfilled subscriptions of S.C. Gould's The Rosicrucian Brotherhood, volume 1, number 1 of this journal being called The Rosicrucian Brotherhood, volume 2, number 6, and the double title continued intermittently thereafter, despite the fact that Gould's journal continued to be published through January 1909. See the note under The Rosicrucian Brotherhood. The Initiates is really an extended advertisement for Clymer's organizations, books, and magnetic healing and apparatus, but it does reprise the occasional old occult standard, such as Charles Mackay's Salamandrine, The Irreconcilable Gnomes, and P.B. Randolph's genealogy of his Rosicrucian order, and contained much of the occult New Thought material that was typical of such efforts at the time. It also carried advertisements for the works of F.B. Dowd, Peter Davidson, Randolph and a host of minor occult New Thought books and journals.

Clymer deserves more serious study than he has received because of his role in continuing P.B. Randolph's sexual magic and because of his involvement in the truly bewildering morass of early twentieth-century occult groups and fringe medical associations and their publications. All of these enterprises are minor compared with better known groups such as the Order of the Golden Dawn or the H.B. of L., but their very number made them influential in the two decades before the First World War and their mail-order lessons were the mechanism through which better known occult ideas, such as those of P.B. Randolph and F.B. Dowd, were continued and spread. In addition to this journal and its successors, Clymer wrote an enormous number of books and in his early days published in, among others, Henry J. Barton's The Philomathian and was closely connected with Ira Keperling and his journal, The Egyptian, the organ of the A.O.F.B./Fraternity Sons of Osiris, which received a regular page in the journal.

The Initiates describes itself as the "Official Organ" of the orders exemplified by the seven emblems placed in the center and at the points of a six-pointed star. The central place of honor is given to the Masonic "G" enclosing a triangle surrounding the all-seeing eye and the number "369.036"--the design patent number of the emblem of Clymer's Ancient and Mystical Oriental Masons, the then-apex of his pyramid of occult organizations, which he later affiliated with Matthew McBane Thompson's American Masonic Federation. The emblem at the top of the star is Randolph's emblem of the triangle enclosing a death's head and winged globe and flanked by a snared anchor surmounting the motto "Try"--the emblem of Clymer's Priesthood of Aeth. Clockwise from there are the shield with rose and cross of the Ordo Militia Crucifera Evangelica; an unknown Rosicrucian medal which may be the Knights of the Rose and Cross of the Temple of Illuminati; an owl on crescent moon that bears the letters A.O.F.B. (the Ancient Order of Free Builders, later called the Frternity Sons of Osiris, run by Dr. Ira L. Keperling, in which Clymer was a 38 degree Exalted Recorded. Next comes the four swastika-like wings encircled by the Ouroboros, the emblem of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Atlantis, Luxor and Elephantae of W.P and Mira Phelon (whose own journal had been The Hermetist and whose work was continued by regular columns in the journal by"Egypt" and "Solarius"), and last is a triangle surrounding a cross on three-stepped platform, the emblem of the Rosicrucian Order. These organizations did not exhaust the arrows in Clymer's quiver, and he also touted in the journal the Order of Illuminati/Church of Illumination that was originally a branch of Leopold Engel's Illuminatenorden, and the Alba Occult Society of Carthage (Missouri). Clymer is at some pains to explain why, if the Rosicrucians were the pinnacle of occult knowledge, there was any need for all these orders--and his answer is less than convincing. In actually, his accumulation of occult orders (and finally his creation of the Royal Fraternal Organization to house them all) was the result of his own occult development and participation as a young man in other groups--which he was then compelled to rationalize in a hierarchy and structure that does great credit to his imagination.

The fundamental teaching of all of Clymer's work was the power of "Love," the "primal Firelife," which can be kindled in couples to allow them to reach the heights of psychic, spiritual and magic development. "We hold that no power ever comes to man through the intellect. We say that the adage ‘Knowledge is Power' is false; but that Goodness alone is Power, and that that pertains to the heart only, hence that Power comes only to the Soul through Love (not lust, mind you), but love, the underlying, Primal Firelife, subtending the basis of being, --the formative flowing floor of the worlds.--the true sensing of which is the beginning of the road to personal power. Love lieth at the foundation, and is the synonym of life and strength and clingingness. Thus it happens that a Loving couple grow youthful in soul, because, in their union, they strike this divine spark, replenish themselves with the essence of life, grow stronger and less brutal, and draw down to them the divine fire from the aerial spaces. (This now is by accident.)" -- July 1910 issue of the journal, paraphrased without attribution from P.B. Randolph, with the promise that these mysteries would be revealed fully in Clymer's private lessons.

Clymer's organizations continued until recently in Quakertown, PA, despite several litigations over control of them. In May 1910 the journal announced that it was being suspended because of lecture tours that would take Clymer away from Pennsylvania, and promised to start up again in 1911--a promise it almost kept since this journal's successor under the same name and The Initiates and the People was started in September 1912. Memphis Public Library; Southern Methodist University; LOC.

Issues:Initiates V1 N1 Apr 1908
Initiates V1 N2 May 1908
Initiates V1 N3 Jun 1908
Initiates V1 N4 Jul 1908
Initiates V1 N5 Aug 1908
Initiates V1 N6 Sep 1908
Initiates V2 N1 Oct 1908
Initiates V2 N2 Nov 1908
Initiates V2 N3 Dec 1908
Initiates V2 N4 Jan 1909
Initiates V2 N5 Feb 1909
Initiates V2 N6 Mar 1909
Initiates V3 N1 Apr 1909
Initiates V3 N1 Apr 1909 B
Initiates V3 N2 May 1909
Initiates V3 N3 Jun 1909
Initiates V3 N4 Jul 1909
Initiates V3 N5-6 Aug-Sep 1909
Initiates V4 N1-2 Oct-Nov 1909
Initiates V4 N3 Dec 1909
Initiates V4 N4 Jan 1910
Initiates V4 N5 Feb 1910
Initiates V4 N6 Mar 1910
Initiates V5 N1 Apr 1910
Initiates V5 N2 May 1910
Initiates V5 N3 Jun 1910
Initiates V5 N4 Jul 1910
Initiates V5 N5 Aug 1910
Initiates V5 N6 Sep 1910

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