From Pat Deveney's database:
Lemurian Ambassador, The.
This journal was an outgrowth of the koine of ancient lost high civilizations that had arisen among occultists by the mid-1930s, a product of heavy reading in Blavatsky, Baird T. Spaulding,""Colonel" James Churchward, William Dudley Pelley, Guy W. Ballard ("Godfré Ray King "), Wing Anderson, H. Spencer Lewis ("Wishar S. Cervé"), Augustus Le Plongeon, "Maurice Doreal" (Claude Doggins), W. Scott-Elliot, "Max Heindel" (Carl Louis von Grasshof), and others, and clustered around various (mutually inconsistent) arrangements of Mu/Lemuria, Atlantis, Hyperborea, Ascended Masters, a coming New Age and race centered on America and especially the West Coast, Mount Shasta, a past and coming utopia, secret councils and brotherhoods, races and root races, Mystic Americanism, Masters from Mercury and Venus, UFOs, etc. The area was ripe for exploitation and many profited from plowing its fertile fields, including the principals of this journal.
The Lemurian Fellowship was started in Chicago on September 16, 1936 to expound the "Lemurian Cosmo-Conception" based on the exalted teachings of the Elder Brothers of the lost continent of Mu, whose instrument the Fellowship claimed to be -- "the direct representative and channel for the release of all information, advice, and plans for the integration of the New Civilization and Order." Its founders were Robert D. (Dunham / Douglas) Stelle (1881-1952), a Chicago osteopath and homeopathic physician, and Howard John Zitko (1911-2003) who held themselves out to be the enlightened reincarnations of Lemurians who had cooperated 78,000 years ago to found the Mukulian Empire on the Rhu Hut Plains of the Continent of Mu and who were tasked to institute the New American Order of the Ages on the principles laid down in Lemuria/Mu by the ascended Martian-Venusian Masters in order to elevate the twelve tribes of the human race gathered there.
Little is known of Stelle, who undoubtedly had a checkered past on the fringes of the New Thought/occult movements of the first quarter of the twentieth century, but by the mid-1930s he was, in addition to his osteopathy practice, engaged as sales manager of a Chicago correspondence-course scam that was widely advertised under the name La Salle Extension University ("If you have the ambition to make the most of your life and opportunities, are willing to work to achieve success, have the power of decision well developed, and earnings from $3,000 to $5,00 the first year appeal to you, call in person or write for a personal interview"). He was also said to have been the author under various pseudonyms of a popular series of western/cowboy pulp fiction. Zitko, who was considerably younger, is said to have encountered Stelle when he sent him a draft of his book on his incarnations in Lemuria, 78,000 years ago. The source of these revelations is variously described as his "Egoic Memory," extensive reading in occult literature, and papers found in his uncle's attic, but wherever they came from they gave detailed accounts of the great preceding races of Lemuria and Atlantis and the emerging American New Era which would be formed (under the guidance of Stelle and Zitko) on principles established by a Grand Council of Mercurial and Venusian Masters "who imparted to early humanity the basic principles underlying the Mercurial, Venusian Divine Order." Melchizedek had ruled in Lemuria and later returned in the borrowed body of Jesus Christ as guide and teacher for the Unfoldment of the God Power and achieving physical immortality (68 people in the United States, mostly in California, have achieved this). On a more mundane plane, Zitko's book gave the details of day-to-day life for Lemurians. They were blonde with a blue tinge to their skins and had airships, atomic energy, automobiles, and television (with which Zitko was very familiar since he had been a "television personality" in Lemuria).
Zitko's book (with additions and editing by Stelle -- although the copyright was in Zitko's name) were quickly transformed into 12 lessons sold by mail order: The Lemurian Theo-Christic Conception / Lemurian Cosmo-Conception, Lessons one to twelve. "This is gradually being recognized as one of the greatest literary efforts ever struck off by the hand of man. It is divided into twelve lessons or volumes of 35,000 to 40,000 words each and covers every subject that has any bearing upon human mastery. By studying this instruction, you will have a complete blue print of the kind of world you will inherit if you will live in conformance with these standards." Obtaining a copy of the first lesson required the student to pay a "sincerity" fee of $5.00 to demonstrate his determination, and the payment method and the sale of the lessons proved quite successful. In October 1941 Zitko was charged with fraud in Wisconsin for "selling unregistered securities in the form of certificates of deposit in the Lemurian Fellowship. The certificates were drawn on the ‘bank of Lemuria,' and convertible into bonds of the Lemurian temple'" (neither of which existed at the time), and the prosecutor claimed that Zitko had sold $31,000 of the certificates to 80 people in 44 states and had about 2,000 people enrolled in buying the lessons for $49.50. (The money from the certificate scam was said to have gone toward the later purchase of the organization's estate in California.)
Originally, the duo's pitch was simply aimed at the student's perceived lack of fulfillment and happiness. Their original advertisements for the Lemurian Fellowship came from an address in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where Zitko lived, and highlighted "Pursuit of Happiness": "A startling message for profound thinkers who realize that something is radically wrong with our modern civilization and are DETERMINED to do something about it. If you aspire to citizenship in the New Order of the Ages, with its attendant financial, social, and political security, send for a free copy of this amazing booklet." (Occult Digest, March 1937). "Pursuit of Happiness" was a pamphlet copyrighted by University Mystai Lemuria in San Diego – near where Stelle had moved in the late 1930s. The next year the message blazoned: "Atlantis, Queen of the Wave": "You, who were once a Dweller on Two Continents – Lemuria and Atlantis – must realize that the time has now come to recover the arts, the crafts, the inventions and the industries of the ancient world and utilize them for the benefit of a new Universal Race which has for its highest ideal the Fatherhood of God, the Motherhood of Nature and the Brotherhood of Man." Send for the free brochure "Lemuria the Magnificent." No obligation. Both advertisements promised "Perfection of Body, Brilliance of Mind and Nobility of Character."
The Fellowship moved to Milwaukee, where the Lemurian Press of the Fellowship's Industrial Division began the publication of this journal in 1941, and then (after Zitko was charged with fraud) to Chula Vista and then Ramona, California, where Stelle had moved and bought a large dude ranch, which remains the organization's headquarters today. The Fellowship in its origins, besides various occult and mystical strains, had strong elements of the economic and social movements prevalent at the time, all with the structured and controlling tone of social engineering and common property, and all geared toward creating worthy citizens of the New Order under Lemurian principles. The economic principles laid down for the group are an Orwellian parody of pretentious New Deal aspirations:
Lemurian Economists Draft Legislation. Labor-Hour Monetary System. The conference revealed that the act consisted of non-partisan proposed legislation to establish a labor-hour monetary system, to outlaw private currency, to abolish the interest system, to make public or private borrowing a criminal offense, to federalize finance by placing all banking institutions under the direct control of the Federal government, to remove control of the price structure from private enterprise, to enact a simplified tax program, to stabilize farm-crop, raw-material, and finished-commodity prices, to provide a suggested basis for wage calculation, and for other purposes. The committee declined to reveal further details, sayng that "the time had not yet come for a public announcement of the economic phase of the Lemurian Programme."
Following these principles led to the "New World Order": "The Lemurian Invisible Brotherhood comprises a WESTERN MYSTERY SCHOOL. Those who accept its teachings and its work become powerful integrative factors in the building of the New American Order of the Ages. It is the only School on the North American Continent which initiates ordinary humanity into full Citizenship in the Cosmic Government. . . . As soon as there is mutual agreement as to the direction and the end product, Brotherhood is born on a mass scale. The present world crisis [in 1943] is Nature's way of telling mankind that the world must now operate as a unit. We are now living in ONE WORLD; and each citizen of this one world must be made responsible as his brother's keeper. . . . The New World calls for mass action which reflects the sum total of the volitional efforts of every member of the New Citizenry." Twelve Departments were envisioned for the Fellowship and the Jewelled [sic] Temple in Ramona, of which four (Agriculture, Education, Industry, and Exchange) were in existence by 1943. Fellowship members were not permitted to live in the new utopian community unless they joined the Jewelled Temple, which seems to have had a ritual element (it had a Mukulian Full Moon Fire Ceremony with "Gorgeous Vestments" and "Quiet Meditation" and there are regular references to Grand Initiators), and the organization sought to survive by tithing and by producing "Lemurian Crafts" inspired by "Lemurian ideals and principles." These included "Hand Woven Book Covers," cigarette boxes, a "Visualization Cross" (heavy gold cardboard on velvet, "Excellent for Concentration Purposes"), and a line of Lemurian Foods (Lemurian Pepperment Tea, a Mineralized Beverage, 3 oz $1.00). "Buy Lemurian -- Act Lemurian -- Be Lemurian." The Temple's bookstore offered a complete line of books, including a continuation of Dweller on Two Planet, by Phylos the Thibetan (Frederick Spencer Oliver), 1905:
An Earth Dweller's Return,
This seems to have been the work of the medium Lilian V. Bense ("Beth Nimrai") with the assistance of The Lemurian Counselor (Robert Stelle) and The Lemurian Scribe (Howard Zitko), which may indicate a spiritualistic element in the Temple's activities.
Stelle and Zitko parted ways about 1947, with Stelle retaining the dude ranch and the Fellowship/Temple and Zitko starting the World University Roundtable in Los Angeles and then Tucson, Arizona. The Lemurian Fellowship continues in Ramona and in the Stelle Group in Illinois and Texas, founded by Richard G. Kieninger (1927-2001), author of The Ultimate Frontier (1963), who incorporated the organization's lessons wholesale. Milwaukee County Historical Society.
|Issues:||Lemurian Ambassador V1 N1 Spring 1941|
|Lemurian Ambassador V3 N6 Nov-Dec 1943|