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- Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm." Rosicrucianism is symbolized by the Rosy (Rose) Cross which is also found in certain rituals beyond "Craft" or "Blue Lodge" Freemasonry.
- Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. These were Fama Fraternitatis RC (The Fame of the Brotherhood of RC) and Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of RC). The influence of these documents, presenting a "most laudable Order" of mystic-philosopher-doctors and promoting a "Universal Reformation of Mankind", gave rise to an enthusiasm called by its historian Dame Frances Yates the "Rosicrucian Enlightenment".
- Rosicrucianism was more closely associated with Protestantism than Roman Catholicism and in particular, was most closely associated with Lutheranism. According to historian David Stevenson, it was also influential to Freemasonry as it was emerging in Scotland. In later centuries, many esoteric societies have claimed to derive their doctrines, in whole or in part, from the original Rosicrucians.
- The Rosicrucian Order is viewed among earlier and many modern Rosicrucianists as an inner worlds Order, comprised of great "Adepts." When compared to human beings, the consciousness of these Adepts is like that of demi-gods. This "College of Invisibles" is regarded as the source permanently behind the development of the Rosicrucian movement.
- Several modern societies have been formed for the study of Rosicrucianism and allied subjects. However, many researchers on the history of Rosicrucianism argue that modern Rosicrucians are in no sense directly derived from the "Brethren of the Rosy Cross" of the 17th century. Instead, they are considered to be keen followers. Moreover, some have viewed the 17th century order as a literary hoax or prank, rather than an operative society. Others contend that history shows them to be the genesis of later operative and functional societies.
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