The Rosicrucians are an esoteric movement named after German mystic Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484). He traveled to Arabia, Damascus, Morocco, and Egypt and returned to teach his disciples how to heal the sick. It is now debated if Christian Rosenkreuz existed or is an occult myth. He is the supposed author of three works that surfaced in the seventeenth century: The Fama Fraternita of the Meritorious Order of the Rosy Cross (1973), The Confession of the Rosicrucian Fraternity (1973) and the Chumic Marriage of Christian Rosenkreuz (1991).
Max Heindel notes (1929:379), “The individual who was later born under the name of Christian Rosenkreuz, who is in the body today, was a highly evolved being when Jesus of Nazareth was born.” This gives authority and credence to the Rosicrucians and their ties to Christianity. Heindel also notes (1929:409) that the Knights of the Round Table of King Arthur were high initiates who took charge of Joseph of Arimatehea’s Grail Cup, used by Jesus at the Last Supper. In addition, the Knights of the Round Table became wards of the Lance and the receptacles used to clean Jesus’ wounds. However mysterious, these three publications were allegorical manifestos calling for a new Reformation, which is obvious in their anti-Catholic rhetoric. The goal of these publications was to expand Protestantism and was probably written by Lutheran pastor Johann Valentin Andreae (1586-1654), who may have established the Rosicrucian Order. He wanted to reform society and combine esoteric ideas (Melton 1990; Roberts 1989; Yates 1972).
Rosicrucian groups seek social and individual transformations, the study of alchemy, Cabalism, and mystical Christianity. The oldest Rosicrucian body in the United States, the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, was founded in 1858 by Pascal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875). The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis was formed by Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883-1939) in 1915 and is one of the largest in the United States. In the later part of the nineteenth century, Rosicrucianism became popular in the United States. Other organizations include the Rosicrucian Fellowship, founded by Max Heindel (1856-1919) in Oceanside, California, in 1907, Societas Rosicruciana in America, founded in 1907, and Lectorium Rosicrucianum, founded in 1928.