What do you do when you happen to be a hundreds of years-aged mystery modern society looking to increase your membership? Make a Facebook group.

Generations ago, Rosicrucians have been only in a position to sustain their modern society by way of their capacity to be invisible. But above the previous a number of hundreds yrs, the entire world has adjusted — and, alongside with it, so has the have to have for Rosicrucians to keep shielded from the general public. Now, like significantly of the relaxation of modern society, they are finding new strategies to link, by pivoting to Facebook, Zoom, and YouTube.

A starting in science fiction or actuality?

When it was first launched in the early 1600s, the fatal 30 Year War was ravaging Europe. It was staying fought mainly above faith, and, though the Rosicrucian Order is not just a faith, it is a method of research to recognize organic guidelines. Some of its doctrine incorporates references to Kabbalah, Hermeticism, alchemy, and Christian mysticism. So, like other religions at the time, they had to retain their corporation personal for concern of persecution.

“It was a very hard time in Europe’s record,” Julie Scott, the Grand Grasp of the Rosicrucian Order, instructed Mashable. “It was just so superstitious. And so the Rosicrucian manifestos were being revealed anonymously.”

In the early 17th century, the 1st bits of Rosicrucianism began popping up in the variety of nameless pamphlets in Germany, which claimed that a group of folks were being secretly doing work to renovate European politics and religion. But you can find a good deal of whether or not, when the pamphlets ended up written, Rosicrucians in fact existed, or if it was just some elaborately created pamphlet of science fiction. 

Jon Crowley, a novelist who analyzed Rosicrucianism for some of his quite a few novels primarily based off of the get, has argued that the books had been likely performs of fantasy, not primarily based off of lived ordeals. But he acknowledges that it truly is tricky to know one way or another.

“No person could definitely track them down mainly because nobody would confess to currently being a person.”

“The plan of an structured physique of men and women who all belong to this group and held themselves key, even though they might have announced that they know about a story about a team that is the Rosicrucians — they can announce that that entire body or that group exists, but they never admit that they belong to it. It is really really difficult to figure it out,” Crowley instructed Mashable. “And which is what created it even a lot more mysterious that there had been these bodies of very scholarly, maybe magical or magician-like folks. And no one could seriously keep track of them down mainly because nobody would acknowledge to remaining a single.”

Over and above the rumors

Regardless of whether they started off as a solution society or as a perform of fantasy, the final result is the same: A group started to variety that thought the pamphlets to be accurate. They had been affected by mystical Christian orders, and they are also linked to the beginnings of the Freemasons. Much more than 400 a long time later on, there are nevertheless users these days — just check out Fb.

“We’re a philosophical firm and, Rosicrucians, we have members all over the planet the place people today are totally free to practice the tradition of their option,” Scott explained. “And we research pure regulations so that we can reside in harmony with them. So, we find out about the best time to do factors, the ideal way to technique factors, whether it is really meditation or acquiring our instinct, so that we get into the normal rhythm of whatever it is we’re approaching.”

“We study natural regulations so that we can reside in harmony with them.”

As the years handed, the invisibility that when supplied the team with an armor of protection was no lengthier essential. Sooner or later, they moved thoroughly into the public eye, total with glossy magazine ads in the 1970s. Nowadays, you can look at their community talks on YouTube, Zoom into an experiment, or sign up for a person of dozens of regional and national Fb groups.

When quite a few of the Facebook teams are personal, associates can be a part of any of them. And everyone can turn out to be a member. 

“Everyone can be a member and we have moderators who make confident that someone who’s not a member is not becoming a member of in buy to market their products or anything like that,” Scott mentioned. “So the key point is we want people to sense welcome and included and just to be capable to notice what Rosicrucians do and how we technique the planet.”

The Fb web page , which anybody can like and adhere to, has far more than 300,000 followers. The greatest private Rosicrucian Fb group, which you have to talk to to join, has 17,000 associates. Not all of the followers are members of the Buy, and it can be generally a place to do what you do on any other group-centered Facebook group: established up meetups, publish offers created in cursive script on stock graphic backgrounds, and argue playfully in the comment sections about the artistry of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Then there are the dozens of pages manufactured for Rosicrucians in unique locations, which, Scott states, are really wherever the electricity of Fb lies for them. “The power of Facebook is it connects men and women regionally,” Scott, who joined the Rosicrucian Order in 1993, mentioned. 

Olisa Okanime operates the organization’s community social media in Georgia and moderates a couple thousand people on social media, she instructed Mashable. She loves the operate she does with the Buy, but is striving to enhance their social media reach — “particularly to nonmembers.”

“We have blockbusters on the net events suitable now that cater to the requires of members and nonmembers alike,” she said. “For instance, we have a weekly teleconference that is hosted by our cute Grand Grasp, Soror Julie Scott. It’s an incredible expertise. You should really check it out — nonmembers can attend.”

Karen Wark, a member who will work on the Rosicrucian Order’s countrywide social media existence, instructed Mashable via e-mail that “Facebook has presented us a way to join with seekers who we would not have been capable to before,” like those people who dwell in rural parts. And, according to Wark, their membership has “elevated considerably” considering that they introduced their principal Fb page in 2009.

“We have Rosicrucian customers from all around the planet and being able to join with just about every other in Facebook groups has been genuinely great for our members,” Wark stated. “Ahead of this, we would only see every single other at entire world conventions, which not everyone would be capable to show up at.”

“Fb has provided us a way to join with seekers who we would not have been capable to just before.”

Fb also aids hook up people today with the previously key society’s other on the internet programs, like the YouTube and Zoom classes they host weekly, the place a course master from their office of instruction provides on distinct topics, like pythagoras or labyrinth. At the time a quarter, they have a symposium on all those platforms, the place members look at several distinctive displays and take part in an experiment or meditation at the finish.

What comes subsequent? 

It is not obvious what the long term of organizations like the Rosicrucians will be, as membership in voluntary associations has been steadily falling in anything from church teams to Greek companies. According to a , membership charges in some of these businesses fell from 75% in 1974 to 62% in 2004. But Scott claims the involvement of social media has really helped memberships grow for Rosicrucians.

“We began presenting the Wednesday teleconferences in 2015,” Scott stated. “Two of our course masters felt that this would be a fantastic way to arrive at customers who ended up in extra remote parts. And we would consistently have it’s possible 75 to 85 contributors each and every Wednesday for a amount of many years. And since the pandemic, on the Wednesday teleconferences, we have usually amongst 400 and 500 members now, and for our symposiums that we existing after a quarter, we usually max out at 1000.”

Okanime also claims social media is supporting to enhance their figures.

“With a world pandemic and no in-man or woman things to do, coupled with seasoned and coordinated expertise from our Grand Lodge, we are going through exponential growth in both equally membership and on the internet participation,” she reported.

The pandemic appears to be 1 of the massive pushes to place the Buy online. That is why they employed Jason Lopez, who joined the firm in 2015, to be the communications supervisor in California. 

“It is a new position designed by the Buy to address the expanding need to have to adapt in the course of the pandemic,” Lopez explained. “Our lodges have been closed but we however wished to connect our customers the very best way we can, [by] building guaranteed that each and every moment put in in these hoping times are alleviated by the classes from the lectures we host and the written content that we make, that can eventually create a perception of community online, if not in individual.”

But even with the vaccine rolling out, and in-man or woman gatherings getting far more and more probably, Lopez and Okanime are self-assured their on the internet outreach will carry on to enhance membership.

“The craze has usually been upward, even before I took on the purpose,” Lopez mentioned. “It is a confirmation that much more people online are wanting into esotericism, philosophy, and ancient wisdom teachings. Ideally they can come across some solutions to their queries with the Rosicrucian Purchase.”

With committed social media administrators and associates across various states and international locations, it makes feeling that a pivot on the web could provide as a savior of kinds to their group. But their transition from current only in the shadows to working inside just one of the most infamously community areas in the entire world is a intriguing selection. With what we know about the deficiency of privateness on Facebook, their willingness to embrace the platforms reveals that the group is additional focused to the “culture” component of secret modern society than they ever have been to the “top secret.”

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