THE PROTOCOL OF THE UNION OF MARTINIST ORDERS
Mike Restivo (Sar Ignatius, Initiatèur Libre)
[The following is a significant document in the history of modern Martinism. Although dated over 30 years ago, and may not be representative of todays circumstances, the Union having dissolved in 1968, it nevertheless expresses significant views concerning the Order, which are important to researchers of Western Initiatic Traditions. My annotations are given in square brackets. Updates with respect to subsequent developments to the present are solicited from authoritative sources.]
The Martinist Order as founded by Dr. Gérard Encausse (i.e. Papus) in 1891, was re-constituted on August 13, 1960, by the fusion of the Martinist Order of Papus, which was in full force and effect in 1952 [Philippe Encausee, the son of Papus, re-established it in 1951.] and the Martinist Order of Lyon, [This was under the Grand Mastership of Henry Dupont] whose first Sovereign Grand Master was in 1916, [This was he year of the death of Papus.] the Very Illustrious and regretted Brother Charles Detre (i.e. Teder). This Order, represented by its Sovereign Grand Master, the Very Illustrious Philippe Encausee, son of Papus, will be known throughout this protocol as M.O. and
The Martinist Order of the Elect-Cohens, which issued from the Traditional Martinist Order [i.e. of the Élus Cohen of Martinez de Pasqually], and of the Order of the Rose-Croix of the Orient, secretly reconstituted in 1942, during the German occupation, and represented by its sovereign Grand Master, the Very Illustrious Brother Robert Ambelain, will be designated throughout this protocol as the M.O.E.C.;
1) Whereas, in the minds of its promoters, the VV. II. BB. [i.e. Very Illustrious Brothers] Robert Ambelain, Henry Dupont and Philippe Encausse, the constitution of a Union of Martinist Orders in Paris, Sunday, October 26, 1958, was, only a preliminary step toward a final unification which all the constituent parties desired with all their hearts, although apparently impossible of immediate realization; and
2) Whereas, in the minds of its promoters, the further unification of the MM.OO. [i.e. Martinist Orders] was felt to be a necessary return to the 18th Century Martinism of Tradition, as was clearly set out in the doctrinal statements made by the first founders, both in print and in writing; and
3) Whereas, it seems clear, from one of Papus books, published in 1895, entitled Martinez de Pasqually, that in addition to the admiration Papus manifested throughout the book for the Master, his statements, as contained on page 212, [ie. The choice made of our centre by the Invisible Masters to deposit the archives of the Order there, is a great honour for us that we will continue to validate with our subsequent improvement.] lead to the conclusion that he also intended to continue and perpetuate the work of he who Papus often calls le Maître/The Master; and
4) Whereas, in his other work entitled Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, published in 1902, it also seems clear that he intended to perpetuate the teachings of the Way of the Heart, a technique very dear to Louis-Claude de Saint-Martins heart, of which Papus other writings on this subject allow no doubt; and
5) Whereas, it seems clear, from a document found in the archives of the M.O.E.C., that Papus was the only one of the Supreme Council of the M.O. , whose filiations came directly from a branch of the Rose-Croix, which was the common source of 18th Century Martinism, and of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martins particular movement known as the Rose-Croix of the Orient; and
6) Whereas, it appears from the pages of 277 to 286 of the Review LInitiation, 1911, official organ of the Martinist Order, that there existed at that time, a duly constituted Martinist Lodge bearing the name of Melchisedech Number 208, of the Order, in the Orient of Paris, which was under the direct dependence of Papus, who was President of the Supreme Council of the Order and which had as officers, among other Bros. [i.e. Brothers], also the RR. BB. [Respected Brothers] Teder, Targelius (Victor Blanchard) [He, as Sar Yesir, was later to become Grand Master of the Martinist Order and Synarchy in 1934.], and Librarius (Ernest Loiselle), all members of the Supreme Council; and
7) Whereas, the presence of the V.I.B. Papus and the VV.II.BB. Teder, Targelius, and Librarius, confers upon all the acts and decisions of this particular Lodge an official and incontestable character; and
8) Whereas, Section 5, of the General Rules and Regulations of the Respected Lodge Melchisedech No. 208", shows that in addition to the classical degrees of ordinary Martinism (Associate, Initiate, Unknown Superior, Free Adept, the latter being the modern Free Initiator, known also as S.I.I. or S.I. IV), the said Lodge conferred also higher degrees such as Royal Initiate, Perfect Adept, Sublime Commander; [These quasi-Masonic offerings may have contributed to the defection of American Martinists under Dr. Edouard Blitz, who perceived an encroachment upon the purview of Freemasonry and did not want to be associated with an Order that could be considered clandestine by legitimate Freemasons. Bro. Bliz was replaced by Margaret Peeke in the remnant of the U. S. Martinist Order which remained loyal to Papus.]
9) Whereas, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix had degrees which were equal to these higher degrees, which they called Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Kabbala, and furthermore, as the same texts of LInitiation of 1911, confirm that these degrees were reserved only for the high degrees of the Masonic Rite of Memphis-Mizraim (which degrees were above the 33rd) as it was stated on page 277 of the above mentioned publication of 1911, that those called Secret Master (4th), Grand Pontiff or Sublime Scottish (19th) and Sovereign Grand Inspector General (33rd), are equivalent to the Martinist degrees of Initiate, Unknown Superior and Free Adept [respectively], conferred by the respected Lodge of Melchisedech No. 208; and furthermore,
Whereas, the Ritual of the Martinist Order of Teder [i.e. The Martinist Order of Lyon], which was approved by Papus, the 3rd of August, 1913, states on page 53, that the Associate degree is equivalent to that of Perfect Master - that the Initiate degree is equivalent to that of the Mason of the Secret, Apprentice Cohen, (pages 73 and 105) - the Unknown Superior Initiator corresponds to the Masonic and Cohen degree of Grand Architect, all of which is in the reformed Scottish [Rite] called of Saint-Martin; and
That not withstanding these facts, the desire of Papus, and of his close collaborators, to return to a Martinism having a Martinezist and para-Masonic character, is more than abundantly demonstrated, thus perpetuating as much as was possible at that tme, the Rite of the Knights Elect Cohens of the Universe, (Rite des Chevaliers Elus-Cohens de lUunivers), founded by Don Martinez de Pasqualis; and
10) Whereas, it results from the foregoing, that the Martinist Order, during Papus lifetime, had high degrees of an infinitely more Occult character than those usually known, high degrees usually connected with practical Kabbalism and with the Christian Gnosis (see Protocol of the Alliance with the Gnostic Church, of September 1893, pages 266 and 267 of the Review LInitiation, as well as to Spiritualist Masonry, it is thus clearly demonstrated that realization of the desire manifested by Papus in 1895, to return to the veritable Martinism of the 18th Ccntury was at a very advanced stage.
In consideration of the foregoing, the High Constituant Authorities of the union of Martinist Orders, decide that:
The Martinist Order, designated as the M.O., and the Martinist Order of the Elect-Cohens, designated as the M.O.E.C., form one and the same Order, as of Sunday, October 28, 1962, at 17 oclock.
The new Order thus constituted resumes and retains its name of Martinist Order (LOrdre Martiniste) as a result of the merging of the M.O. and the M.O.E.C.
The said Martinist Order, shall retain its spiritual and fraternal ties with the Gnostic Apostolic Universal Church (LEglise Gnostique Apostolique Universelle), which was established by Papus and [Jules] Doinel, in 1893, revised and brought up to date by V. I. And regretted Bro. Jean Bricaud [He was Grand Master of the Martinist Order of Lyon after Teders death in 1918.], in agreement with the V.I. and regretted Bro. Papus in 1911, (see, among other documents, also LInitiation of August 1911, page 178).
The Martinist Order shall retain with the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix (LOrdre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix) the same traditional ties established during the lifetime of the VV.II. And regretted Bros. Stanislas de Guaita and Papus. The said Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix, unlike the other iniitatic organisms, persists in conferring the degrees of Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Kabbalah -- only to those who have attained and passed the 3rd degree of Unknown Superior (S.I.).
The Martinist Order is thus reconstituted and subdivided into two initiatic organizations:
a) An Exterior Circle, called Order of Saint-Martin, which corresponds, on the one hand, to the old Martinist Order, and on the other hand, to the ancient Exterior Order of the M.O.E.C., which includes members of both sexes, having the following degrees:
[1st Degree -] Associate
[2nd Degree -] Initiate
[3rd Degree -] Unknown Superior
[4th Degree -] Unknown Superior Free Initiator or S.I.I. or S.I. IV,
The fourth degree is reserved only for males members except in cases which have been previously submitted to the Board of Directors of the Order (Chambre de Direction de LOrdre). This is the classic Martinist Order.
b) An Interior Circle, called Order of Elect-Cohens, corresponding to the ancient Interior Order of the M.O.E.C., comprising male members who have attained to the following degrees:
[1st degree -] Master Elect-Cohen
[2nd degree -] Knight of the Orient
[3rd Degree -] Commander of the Orient
[4th Degree -] Réaux-Croix
(Women are excluded from this Order.)
The V. I. Bro. Philippe Encausse, with the title of Sovereign Grand Master, will govern ad vitam, according to the usual custom, the actual Constitution and General Regulations of the M.O., groups and sub-groups (Martinist study circles) having degrees called of Saint-Martin;
The V. I. Bro. Robert Ambelain, with the title Sovereign Grand Commander, shall govern, ad vitam, according to the usual custom, the actual Constitutions and General Regulations governing the Martinist Order of Elect-Cohens, Lodges of Perfection, and Martinist Chapters having the following degrees: Master Elect Cohen, Knight of the Orient, Commander of the Orient, and Réaux-Croix.
The new Martinist Order, organized along the same lines as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite constituted of the Grand Lodge of France and of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, is composed of two initiatic formations, two distinct branches, independent, one from the other, but both attached to the one and the same Martinist Order, each having its respective head, a Sovereign Grand Master and a Sovereign Grand Commander.
A liaison organism, vested with the proper authority, shall regulate and harmonize the function of these two groups. This organism is the actual Board of Directors (Chambre de Direction) of the Union of Martinist Orders. Internal regulations will establish the functions of the said Board, which will be known as the Liaison Board.
The Exterior Circle, known as of Saint-Martin, being ipso fact, the seminary and nursery of the Interior Circle of Elect-Cohens, shall transfer to the latter such candidates as shall be picked from among their groups or sub-groups (usually from Martinist study circles) who desire to have access to the high Grades of the M.O.
Each candidate thus transfered must present his curriculum vitae, giving account of his profane as well as his initiatic background, together with a note from his superior hierarchy, countersigned by the Sovereign Grand Master himself or the Assistant Grand Master.
Any member of the M.O. who is excluded from one of the above memtioned duly constituted groups, is by the same fact excluded from the other, except in special cases which have been previously brought before the Liaison Board for discussion.
The Exterior Circle, called of Saint-Martin, being the seminary of the Interior Circle, called of the Elect-Cohens, assures its members the double teaching of the Way of the Heart and of the Operative Way. The latter includes, among others, also the study of Martinezist Theurgy, practical Kabbala, and general Occultism. In no case shall an Exterior Circle transfer for eventual access to Higher Grades, the candidature of a member who, by observation or by experience, shows a unique interest in experiments incompatible with the spirit of Martinism, totaly deprived of sincere Christian Faith, and who has given proof of indifference regarding the techniques of the Way of the Heart of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin.
The Interior Circle shall assure to the candidates, through members of their Lodges of Perfection and Chapters, in complete and total brotherhood spirit, the necessary teaching of the Operative Way, through lectures, courses, etc. Members of the M.O., having passed the first degrees of Saint-Martin (Exterior Circle) and who desire to devote themselves only to the Way of the heart, shall in no case be excluded, because of that, from such lectures, courses and teachings, etc. In fact, access to these courses, as well as to other forms of teaching shall always be open to them freely as to any other member.
Upon the signature of these presents, the Exterior Circle, known as of Saint-Martin, in addition to the work now being done in their Groups and sub-groups (The usual Martinist study circles), shall resume and amplify the classical studies already in course during the time of Papus, i. e. Christian Theosophy, Gnosis, Kabbala, Hermetic Philosophy, Theurgy, etc.
The M.O. is thus unified and crowned at the top by a Supreme Organism which will function under the name Sovereign Board of Directors of the M.O. (Souverain Directoire de LOrdre Martiniste). This Board is composed of the actual Sovereign Grand Master, and the Sovereign Grand commander, each assisted respectively by a Triangle of Grand Officers, designated by each one. The Sovereign Board of Directors of the M.O. is therefore composed of eight members.
All regulations of a secondary nature, as well as any additional measures necessary to insure the application of the present provisions, shall be completed in detail by the said Sovereign Board, subsequently.
Executed in Paris, in two copies, Sunday, the 28th day of October, 1962, signed and sealed by the two Grand Masters:
Doctor Philippe Encausse Robert Ambelain
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