Paul Foster Case – The Fruits of Adeptship








Paul Foster Case

No clearer statement of the position of the Chiefs of the R.O. of A.O. could well be made. It says the work of the Order leads straight to adeptship. With this in mind, those who wish to form some notion of just what kind of adeptship it leads to, should consider the following:During the winter of 1922-1923, the Chiefs of A-TOUM Temple, No. 20, Los Angeles, California, announced that they had received from London some new lessons on the Qabalah. From these, they said, they were permitted to select certain more or less exoteric matter, which they would give in a series of public talks. Members of A-TOUM Temple were urged to bring prospective Candidates to these public meetings, so that the taste of Qabalistic doctrine there given might arouse an appetite for further knowledge, and thus lead to an increase in the membership of the Temple. The lessons were not supposed to be part of the A.O. curriculum; but it was intimated that they were written by the G.H. Head of the Order, Soror Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum. Thus they were invested with the prestige of high Rosicrucian authorship. Such was the claim. The facts are as follows:Six copies of these lessons are in my possession. All but one contain extensive plagiarism – not from any ancient source, but from books by modern writers. The books are listed below, and the numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of thefts from each:

a. “Tarot of the Bohemians”, by Papus (3)
b. “Numbers; Their Meaning and Magic”, by Isidore Kozminsky (4)
c. “Pictorial Key to the Tarot,” A. E. Waite (1)
d. “Introduction to the Study of the Tarot,” Paul F. Case (1)
e. “Hidden Way Across the Threshold”, J. C. Street (2)

These plagiarisms are not small peculations. In some instances whole paragraphs have been stolen without the alteration of a single word. The thefts from Doctor Kozminsky are thinly disguised, perhaps because he is (or was, at last accounts, a V. H. Frater of the A.O.).

Practically all matter having a direct bearing on the Qabalah is from the books of Papus and Case. A whole lesson, dated Dec. 28, 1922, is from Street’s “Hidden Way.” It is copied without change from pages46 to 49, beginning at the 5th paragraph on page 46, and ending with the last paragraph on page 49. The 3rd and 4th paragraphs on page 48 were not copied into the lesson.Judging from the amount of material stolen from his book, the compiler of these lessons regards Street as a great Qabalist. He was really a Spiritualist. The “Hidden Way” is an anti-Theosophical volume, written to combat the work of Madame Blavatsky. It is a hotch-potch of quotations, thrown together helter-skelter, which betrays the ignorance of its compiler on every page. Street’s claims to consideration as a Qabalist may be judged from the following quotations:On page 200 he defines Sephiroth as “Elementals of the Astral World,” declares that they “are both finite and infinite,” and then says, “They are Harmonies Divine, Creative Wisdom and Conceiving Intellect.” In other words, he teaches that “Creative Wisdom and Conceiving Intellect” are “Astral Elementals,” and that these “finite and infinite” existences are “Sephiroth.”On page 99 he mentions “the ancient Sanscrit of the Jews.” One need not be an occultist to know that Jews never had Sanscrit, either ancient or modern.From such an authority (!), whose book betrays him as a blatant pretender, unable to write correct English, the Head of the R.O. of A.O. steals a whole lesson of what she is pleased to call Qabalah. That is, the statements of the Chiefs of the A-TOUM Temple point to the G. H. Soror V. N. R. as being not only a plagiarist, but a very silly and bungling one. If the Chiefs of A-TOUM did not get their “Qabalah” lessons from London, but compiled them themselves, then they have lied about V.N.R., and are guilty not only of literary larceny, but of dragging the good name of the Head of the Order into the mire.In three instances, these thefts are from living writers, of whom two were once members of the A.O., while the other (Kozminsky) was at last reports head of an Australian Temple. He from whom the greatest number of paragraphs has been purloined is one whose studies of Rosicrucian sources made him so dangerous to the A.O. that V.N.R. expelled him. She did so because the Imperatrix of the Thoth-Hermes Temple informed her that Frater Perseverantia (Paul Case) doubted the claims of the A.O.

Her letter of excommunication states explicitly that Fra. Perseverantia’s name is erased from the rolls of “my (!) Order” because he has expressed doubts – not for any other cause. Yet the Chiefs of Thoth-Hermes have permitted, if they have not encouraged, the circulation of false reports as to the reasons for that expulsion. While the Chiefs of A-Toum commit, or connive at, a clumsy theft of Perseverantia’s Qabalistic knowledge, the Chiefs of Thoth-Hermes permit their members to believe frightful tales about his “black magic” and his exposure of A.O. secrets. One set of Chiefs robs, and the other set slanders or permits to be slandered, a man whose Rosicrucian “crime” was the honest expression of doubt.Again, the V. H. Soror Non Mihi Solum has mis-stated facts in regard to the disposition of Second Order books formerly belonging to her brother. She says: “At his death, through an absolutely blameless mistake, all his work – all the MSS of the Second Order, always so carefully guarded by him – were sent by his executors to our then Cancellarius, a man who, I truly believe, knew less about the work and meaning of it than any member now present.

Not realizing, not understanding either rules or dangers, he permitted all his work to become practically public to members of the Second Order, regardless of their Grades! To this fact I attribute all our recent troubles.”Soror N.M.S. speaks what is false. She knows it is false, and so does every Second Order member. The books were not sent to the Cancellarius through any mistake of her brother’s executors. They were sent to the Cancellarius because the rules of the A.O. made him the custodian of ALL books left after the death of any member. The mistakes if any, in giving out the books, were not made by the Cancellarius. The only MSS which any member of the Second Order had access to were such as belonged to Grades which all then in the Second Order had attained – with just two exceptions. These two MSS were given to Fra.

Perseverantia by the Imperatrix’s brother himself, before he left for California, so that Fra. Perseverantia might use the knowledge they contained to assist him in his work as Sub-Praemonstrator.The V. H. Soror strives to create the impression that misuse of magical formulas in these MSS caused the trouble. To do so, she has to slander a man who stood by her when his closest friends had given up the A.O. in disgust. At the period she mentions, he had done more work, and had studied more Second Order texts than she. At that time, in fact, no Second Order member knew less of the theory and practice of the A.O. work than Soror Non Mihi Solum. Without cramming she could not have passed some of the First Order tests.Her fantastic interpretation of the A.O. troubles is merely amusing; but were there any truth in it, the blame must rest with S.R.M.D. and V.N.R. Not until V. H. Soror Nanc et Semper wrote to Sub Spe for a list, did Thoth-Hermes, the oldest Temple in America, have any definite information as to what MSS were in the Second Order curriculum, the sequence in which they were to be studied, or what examinations were to be taken by Second Order members. Michael Whitty died without ever knowing though he had asked S.R.M.D. and V.N.R. for this information, over and over again. That the Chiefs of Thoth-Hermes have it now is due solely to Nunc et Semper’s determination to have some semblance of system in the work.Soror N.M.S. asserts that the A.O. curriculum is the straightest road to adeptship. The facts recited herein show that either the Head of the A.O., or the Chiefs of A-Toum Temple, are adept at stealing other men’s thoughts and word. (Perhaps just a little too clumsy to be called “adepts”). Careful study of Soror Non Mihi Solum’s words indicates that she is rapidly becoming adept in the perversion of facts, and in the use of suggestion to arouse the emotions of her hearers so that their judgement may be warped by sentiment. This attempt to sway the imagination of her Fratres and Sorores is a true example of “black magic.”

She says all knowledge is collected in the A.O. curriculum. How does she know? Who but one who consciously possess ALL knowledge can say this truthfully. Is the V.H. Imperatrix ready to claim omniscience, ready to set herself on the throne of the Lord of the Universe? She says the A.O. work is such that a student may become an adept in one lifetime. As a matter of fact, she has never known an adept, is not an adept herself (not even an A.O. “Adept” in the strict sense), and when she states these things is guilty of false pretense by using for a belief the form of words which is proper for nothing other than the declaration of positive knowledge.Do you aspire to adeptship in plagiarism? Do you accept the “spiritual” guidance of Chiefs who blacken a former Frater’s reputation with one hand and steal his ideas and words with the other? Have you sufficient regard for your mental and spiritual health to do a little research work – to read the article on Dr. Dee in Lewis Spence’s “Encyclopaedia of Occultism,” and “A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits?”

You can find both books in the New York Public Library. They prove, up to the hilt, Frater Perseverantia’s contention (which has never been answered by the present Head of the Order) that the Tablets of Earth, Air, Water and Fire used in the A.O. Rituals from 1=10 to 4=7 are not of Rosicrucian origin, but were made known to the world through the skrying of a tricky medium (Kelly) who had his ears cut off for counterfeiting. These tablets form the pivot around which the whole practical magic of the A.O. revolves. Through Kelly, Dr. Dee received them from a supposed “angelic” being, who also told Dee that he and Kelly should share their wives in common.Your Imperatrix warns you to study nothing but the A.O. curriculum.

Why? Because if you do, sooner or later you will find out that you are caught in the meshes of a lying imposture. You have taken an obligation to your own Higher Soul, an obligation more binding than any given to the Chiefs of an Outer Order. Keep it. It is your duty to find out whether I have stated facts in this letter. This is an attack on your Chiefs and on your beliefs. I tell you that you are fighting on the side of the powers of darkness, that your strength and time and energy are being expended to further the destructive forces of the Pit. I tell you that you are being guided by men and women guilty of theft and falsehood. You cannot dismiss this letter with a shrug of disbelief. It is too specific. If you want further details, you can have them. If you want to be led by the nose, you can have that, too. Are you one of those who can be fooled all of the time, or do you stand on your own feet and think for yourself?
Yours sincerely,

I retain my motto, because it still expresses my highest aspiration, and because I know, that having taken it in good faith, and having received initiation in good faith, too, I have through it made contact with the Invisible Order of which the A.O. is a paltry counterfeit.

Another interesting text: Elias Rubenstein – The Power of the True and Visible Rosicurican Order