Sunday, June 26, 2011

MASSIVE DECEPTION: Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA) & the Golden Dawn

by David Griffin

Regular readers of the Golden Dawn blog will recall recent articles here and here and here protesting interference in the Golden Dawn community by Masonic Rosicrucian Societies. For example, the article citing the ridiculous remarks made by SRICF Supreme Magus, William Koon, implying that the SRICF has authority to designate an "official" Golden Dawn order.

It turns out that it is not only the regular Freemasonic Rosicrucian Societies that would like to get their paws on the Golden Dawn. Even the clandestine, irregular ones have been eying up the Golden Dawn like a hungry dog sizes up a juicy bone for some time now.

Logo of the Irregular "SRIA"
The Societas Rosicruciana in America (improperly called S.R.I.A. to cause confusion with the real, British S.R.I.A.) is an irregular Freemasonic-style Occult society founded by George Plummer. The S.R.I.A. today improperly operates in America, directly infringing on the territory of the regular Freemasonic Rosicrucian Society in America, the S.R.I.C.F.
George Plummer, Cladestine "SRIA" Founder
Plummer submitted an application to gain recognition and regularity for the Soc. Ros. in America from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and corresponded briefly in this regard with W. Wynn Wescott. The application was immediately rejected by the High Council of the Soc. Ros. In Anglia. The American's organization's persistence in calling itself "S.R.I.A." (sic) is therefore obviously indicative of an intent to mislead the public.

Due to Plummer's brief correspondence with Wescott, false but persistent rumors have been circulated for years that the Soc. Ros. In America received either a Golden Dawn charter or a regular ritual transmission from Wescott. That this deception has been intentional is evidenced on the orders website where they write: 
"it was during this time that the Societas Rosicruciana in America received the status from Dr. Wm. W. Westcott to work with the Golden Dawn system."
In reality, there exists no evidence at all that the Soc. Ros. In America ever received either a charter or even a regular ritual transmission from either the Golden Dawn or any if its derivative orders.

The Soc. Ros. In America did eventually begin to work and odd version of Golden Dawn ritual, which was derived not from Wescott, but rather cobbled together from Aleister Crowley's published account of Golden Dawn rituals in "The Equinox." In a desperate move to achieve at least a veneer of legitimacy, the Soc. Ros. In America next appointed Aleister Crowley to its board of directors, before finally managing to get a Rosicrucian charter from the Quakertown Rosicrucians, descending from Pascal Beverly Randolph.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the group was presided over by "Sister Lucia" Grosch. Whatever tenuous lineal affiliation Soc. Ros. In America might ever have ever enjoyed, with certainty ended when Grosch dissolved its high council in the 1980s. Grosch was later sued by Frank Modica in the 1990's in a real property suit that nearly bankrupted Grosch. Substantally destitute, Grosch accepted financial assistance from Maria Babwahsingh apparently in exchange for handing over leadership of the Soc. Ros. In America to Babwahsingh.

Under present leadership, the Soc. Ros. in America today makes a host of false and misleading lineage claims on its website including claims of charters from the Golden Dawn, the R.R. et A.C., and the Alpha et Omega. These claims have been debunked with specificity by Golden Dawn historian, Anthony Fleming (aka Tony Fuller), who wrote: 
"If I am correct in thinking that you dispute any direct and official ritual transmission from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina or Alpha et Omega to the Soc. Ros. in America, then I agree with you. Their rituals are sui generis and while, as noted by R.A. Gilbert there is Golden Dawn material included in some of them, I am not aware of any evidence that this occurred through any authorized Charter, Warrant, etc. from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina, or Alpha et Omega."
Indeed, closer examination of the host of alleged charters published on the Soc. Ros. In America website reveals them, in actually, to be nothing but a collection of completely unrelated documents and certainly not charters.
But we Klingons are FRIENDS of the Federation,
especially house Duras


  1. I read somewhere (I think on a blog of a Golden Dawn leader) that this American SRIA is their secret Inner Order? Does anyone know anything about this weird story?
    Masonic Rosicrucian Societies trying to take over the Golden Dawn? The whole thing smells as fishy to me as a fisherman without a shower for a mo

  2. There is no way that this fake SRIA group is connected with the Golden Dawn in any way. I remember reading about this "SRIA" offshoot a fews back. Some kind of schism, if I recall correctly. If I am not mistaken, they admit only Christians, which would make them an anti-semitic organization.

    This, of course, is the complete antithesis of the Golden Dawn. I had heard that the Christian Identity movement was trying to open a "Christians only," Rosicrucian organization. Does anyone know if this is the same group?

  3. Dear practicioners,

    Please consider a possible point of view, which would make the existence of unsanctioned or even fake branches of GD a highly superficial problem. Due to the existence of publicly available material that covers the work of an adept at least in the beginning stages, earnest and hard-working aspirants have been finding each other and the established temples with the desire to get results; to find, take and use the best - no hoax would hold the attention of such an aspirant for long.
    And on the other hand there are certain individuals who look everywhere for an excuse to believe that they are doing magic, to pretend their conversations with gods and be vocal about these experiences within their social circles. This sort of individuals would be hard-pressed to find any use in even the most legitimate and deeply engaging order, simply due to the immaturity and lack of dedication to any one system.

    Now, I understand that your argument and outrage with the subject might be of great importance to the public image of the order, but an over-zealous defence of an ideal is often damaging without the actual presence of an antagonist.

  4. Yury,
    You are missing the point, Frater. There are many Golden Dawn orders and this is a very good thing. What is not good is any sort of Highlander mentality with the strange idea that "there can be only one." I am alarmed by recent attempts by the Masonic Rosicrucian Societies to impose this Highlander mentality on the Golden Dawn, especially since the "only one" they want is, of course, controlled by the Masons.

  5. To clarify some information most folks are unaware of... It should be noted that Sylvester Clark Gould was involved in the American AO, and was the gateway of entry to the Boston AO Temple. This Temple was functioning by 1905, making it one of the earliest American AO Temples. S.C. Gould was also very involved with Yarker (as well as Peter Davidson, the HB of L, and Randolph's Eulian Order), and is worthy of much further attention. There is a bit more to this organization than meets the eye, including its connections to the Mathers/Westcott GD/AO. There were two distinct phases of GD work, and Gould (one of the founders of SRIA), being connected with the early emergence of the AO in America (note the New York Temple was founded in 1904 and the Boston Temple mentioned in Gould's Journal 'Notes and Queries' in 1905) is too often overlooked by Occult Scholars. The SRIA (America) was founded by Gould and Plummer 2-3 years after the Boston AO Temple had already been functioning, and Gould was involved in both. Plummer IMHO being irrelevant in regards to a GD connection, since Gould's involvement preceded the existence of the SRIA. Information on the American GD/AO has generally not been made public and is a bit more interesting than a surface view and analysis will unveil. In other words everything was not all Case and Regardie in America. There were also some loose-knit AO groups in the Midwest that continued to function for quite some time in various fashions.

  6. Care Frater Olen Rush,

    I know you to be a meticulous scholar of the Kabbalah. Your academic rigor has bee highly commendable in your reconstruction of a Neo-Asiatic Brethren order. Until now, I have not witnessed you fall into the traps that have hindered the Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists, who have played fast and loose with redefining traditional Golden Dawn concepts and whose academic rigor has frequently been compromised by presenting wild speculation as established fact. I am therefore all the more disappointed with your apparent lapse of your customary academic impeccability in this instance.

    The names of all GD members prior to 1905 were documented, and Sylvester Gould was not one of them.

    In the late 1880's and 1890's, prior to his resignation as Chief Adept in Anglia, W. Wynn Westcott approached a number of his fraternal contacts regarding starting Temples of the Golden Dawn. Thus, Temples numbers 4, 5, and 6 were started in England and Scotland, following Temple 3 in London. The founding chiefs of these Temples were given a Charter, and wound up becoming initiates of the Golden Dawn by charter.

    In this same manner, Westcott wrote to Albert Pike in the USA, asking him to become head of the GD in America. Pike declined, however, citing his age and other time-consuming interests (in translating Sanskrit scriptures). It is entirely possible that Gould, like Albert Pike, had similar connections; but like Pike, he certainly never wound up becoming an initiate of the Golden Dawn.

    Despite the announcement that you cite on our forum (which is circa 1896, not 1905), there was never a chartered Golden Dawn Temple in Boston. Had such existed, it certainly would have appeared very prominently in the list of Golden Dawn Temples which Westcott cited.

    It is entirely possible that Gould indeed traveled to England, and knew both Westcott and Mathers through fraternal order connections. He may even have known even of the Golden Dawn.

    Thus, the published citation is likely merely of the nature of an advertisement to drum up interest.

    What is completely certain is that no charter was ever issued, and that there was never an active chartered Temple in Boston.

    In an unaccustomed lapse of academic rigor, I note that you make reference to the Alpha et Omega, but the pubilcation that you cited on our forum refers to the Golden Dawn. I would like to believe that you are merely confusing the facts and have not decided to join in the chorus of wild speculation that has so badly marred the work of the Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists as contrasted with the far more successful resonctructionists in the Neo-Pagan community like Raymond Buckland, Isaac Bonewits, and Tony Mierzwicki.

    I sincerely hope that you will return to your customary academic impeccability and will refrain from further wild speculation about the AO, while making cryptic inference without any supporting evidence whatsoever.