The Confederation of Initiates
Officially known as
“La Federation Universelle des Ordres,
Societes et Fraternites des Inities"
Until the early part of the 20th Century there were few authentic Arcane Orders other than those Secret Schools located in North America, Europe, Central and South America. After these authentic schools, through their efforts and accomplishments, gained considerable prominence and favorable consideration, other organizations with little knowledge and with no legitimate authority, began to appear with great frequency. In America, as in other countries, these spurious schools, through their unethical practices, false claims and potentially harmful teachings created confusion among the public.
First Efforts Toward Organization
The first effort to bring the various authentic organizations under one jurisdiction without interfering with their individual activities was made in 1908 through an organized body known as the Royal Fraternity Association. The Royal Fraternity Association was eventually merged into the Confederation of Initiates after its formation in 1939.
The present world‑wide organization of the Confederation had its beginning in 1925. But it was on July 24, 1939 that the Confederation or Fraternity of Initiates,was formally registered in the State of Pennsylvania to protect its title.After this, there began a concerted effort of cooperation on the part of those in authority (the Supreme Grand Masters) of all the authentic Orders,Fraternities and Secret Schools throughout the world.
One of the most active in this effort was the great Initiate Chevillon of Paris, France. With his efforts and along with others, the formation of La Federation Universelle des Ordres Societes et Fraternites des Initiates was culminated on March 20, 1939. (1)
Others of Honorary Mention
Others long connected with one or more of the Fraternities in America, and who gave both time and effort, were:
These men helped in the preparation of the Articles of formation and the By‑laws that these documents might be in full harmony with the Laws of the countries in which the Confederation was to be active. It was through the efforts of Mr.McDaniel that the Fundamental Laws and the formation of the Confederation appeared in the Congressional Record, May 29, 1939; Vol. 84. No. 106, Page 8917.
Close Union of Authentic Orders
Although there had been the closest union and cooperation between the various Esoteric and Arcane Orders and Fraternities of Europe and America, it was not until Fra. C. Chevillon succeeded the late Dr. J. Bricaud, as Grand Master of the Universat Ordre Martiniste, with its seat at Lyon, France, that a Confederation of such Orders became feasible. It was Fra. Chevillon's noble efforts, the enthusiastic cooperation of the organizations he represented and the splendid cooperation of other Esoteric and Arcane Orders and Fraternities that lead to the ratification of the articles adopted at Convention in Paris, France, on the twentieth day of March, A. D., 1939, as previously mentioned.
Representative Orders and Fraternities
Among the most important of the organizations represented at this first Convocation,were:
The American Orders included:
All authentic Esoteric, Arcane and Occult Orders and Fraternities engaged in Philosophic Initiation that subscribe and adhere to the objects, purposes and basic principles of this Confederation, that can establish direct and authoritative descent from authentic Esoteric, Arcane or Occult organizations,or were the first to establish a general organization or organizations of unquestioned genuineness in any country or defined territory may become members of this Confederation.
The basis of this Confederation is Esoteric, Philosophic and Spiritual. The Confederation may accept into membership only such organizations that are Esoteric, Philosophical and Spiritual in their nature. In European countries,many esoteric organizations, dating back several centuries, are, in part,Masonic in character, but considered and accepted as Esoteric, Philosophical and Spiritual in their nature and activities. The Confederation may not in anyway interfere with the Ancient landmarks of any of its members.
Individuals, irrespective of high office, may not become members of the Confederation. Only established organizations may do so and the officers of the Confederation are selected from the list of officers of such member organizations.
The original plan of the Confederation did not include any form of membership other than the Active Membership. However, there were so many members of the various organizations who had proven their loyalty to the Great Work. Because of the many genuine sacrifices on their part as well as the nobility of their character both in mundane affairs and in the Fraternity in which they were either Neophytes or members, an Associate status was established within the Confederation.
These qualifications mandate that applicants to become Associates should be morally straight. Furthermore, that they observe the rule “one who talks does not know;one who knows does not talk,” and have proven their sincerity and loyalty by having helped the Great Work.
Present qualifications for acceptance include not only the conditions mentioned, but others as well. Morally the applicant must be without blemish, must be free to worship without interference, free to select friends and associates, to live according to high ideals, without the possibility of being influenced to engage in anything against individual Will, or doing anything whatsoever which does not conform to Divine Law and Divine Will.
Neophytes and members of various Fraternities who seek to become Associates may be members of practically any religious denomination except such as do not honor the Flag of their country as a symbol of liberty or uphold the Constitution of their country. This applies more especially to Americans. However they may not belong to any other so‑called Occult, Arcane or Esoteric Order or Fraternity except those legitimate members of the Confederation or accepted as such.
An Associate elected to office or delegated to perform certain work, must do the best of his or her ability, making whatever sacrifices may be necessary to accomplish a specific task or goal. In short, he or she must be dependable to their associates, a loyal citizen, a son or daughter of man seeking to become the Son or Daughter of God.
The Confederation is the Guardian of the Great Work. The Associates are its supporters and protectors. Neophytes and members of the various Fraternities desiring to become Associates must request such privilege and honor. Associates share every benefit and privilege of the Confederation other than the honors.Illness, active service, or emergencies are the only acceptable excuses for not fulfilling the offices or duties to which associates are appointed.
For more information on this subject, we refer the reader to:
The Book of Rosicruciae, (3 Vol.), by R.S. Clymer, Philosophical Publishing Co.
The Second Fama & Constitution, by R. S. Clymer, Philosophical Publishing Co.
Click here to read the Articles of Association of the Confederation of Initiates, 1939.
(1) R. Swinburne Clymer, M.D., Supreme Grand Master, representing the American Orders and Fraternities, was Consecrated as High Bishop of the Gnostic Church of America, by Fra. Chevillon, who was the Rector of European Gnostic Church. Refer to The Book of Rosicruciae, Vol. III, page 191.