About Pierre S. Freeman
After his first book, The Prisoner of San Jose was published, Pierre S. Freeman began interacting with his various readers, gaining a great deal of insight as to the effect of first attempt at exposing the Mind Control mechanisms of AMORC, the Ancient and Mystic Order of Rosae Crucis, the alleged Rosicrucian Order with headquarters in San Jose, California. Although he had sketched out exactly how AMORC functioned as a cult and how it used hypnosis as the backbone of its “occult” teachings, he felt that his readers lacked an in-depth understanding of exactly how the mind control elements were embedded in the lessons, how they worked to progressively deepen hypnotic states and how eventually, in certain members, they would invoke personality alteration and hallucinatory episodes based on post-hypnotic triggers. Further, to understand this process, it was important to understand AMORC’s doctrines and “theology.”
For this reason, Freeman decided to write a more complete expose, AMORC UNMASKED- focusing more on the cult’s progressive unveiling of its theology along with its ever-deepening methodology of Mind Control conveyed to its students through “experiments” and exercises. Further, he wanted to convey to his readers that, although he has been thoroughly disillusioned with AMORC, he has not given up in his belief that the spiritual impulses that led him to AMORC have legitimate foundations. Although still a seeker, he challenges his readers with a vision of another type of spiritual path that stands outside the veil of illusion that AMORC has cast over its followers. In this manner, he shows where and how AMORC has taken grains of truth from various traditions and recast them into the hypnotic matrix of mind control.
At this point, having set aside his many years of social and economic isolation prior to his returning to school to get his degree and chart a real course with his career, Freeman continues to function as a successful analyst for several large financial institutions in the Minneapolis areas, as he has been doing for the last twelve years. He takes a great deal of satisfaction in understanding that life without AMORC, although it takes realistic planning and hard work, fulfills the hope for prosperity, stability and spirituality he had sought back in Haiti. He admits also to the satisfaction of being able to tell his story.
Interview with the Author
Tell us something about your early life in Haiti.
I was born in a very small town. My father actually came from a very well-to-do family but his father died early and his uncle, who raised him, blocked he and his siblings from inheriting their estate. In fact, when he intervened on behalf of two of his cousins to receive their estate, his uncle, who was powerful in political circles, held it against him and kept him from joining the military, his one probable escape route from poverty. My mother, who was my lifelong ally, was brought up poor but aspired to be wealthy- and encouraged me in every way. The two of them separated when I was quite young and I spent most of my childhood with my mother. Poverty in Haiti is brutal. It took every ounce of my strength to survive and to move forward in my education.
You were a member of the Ancient Mystic Order of Rosae Crucis for over two decades. What did the organization stand for and why did you join?
As I mentioned earlier, life was a constant economic struggle for me- and, although I had made a lot of progress by the time I entered engineering school in Haiti, I was somewhat insecure about my future. AMORC claimed to be an authentic representative of the Rosicrucian tradition, a fraternal organization whose roots went back to ancient Egypt and the Egyptian mysteries. According to AMORC, it was a continuation of a religious tradition that was in alignment with the Cosmic, a concept of God they claimed was a more perfect and ancient representation of Diety than the way God was presented in traditional religions. Although there have been many groups claiming a Rosicrucian pedigree, AMORC claimed true authenticity and presented itself as having the keys to great mysteries, including the ability to enable its followers to obtain true prosperity through certain spiritual practices, including visualization.
In the book, you are continuously referring to AMORC as a religious cult. What made you look at AMORC in this light?
I spend many years in AMORC believing in its authenticity and in its promise of prosperity. Yet, despite my efforts and the focus I placed on its studies and exercises, I kept failing even to obtain a minimum standard of prosperity. After a time, I began to have within myself a great sense of doubt about the organization’s authenticity and the validity of the exercises. Still, I found myself unable to leave. Worse, I would find myself in extreme, vacillating moods in regards to my affiliation. First, I would go into a state of reaffirmation and enthusiastic support; then I would go into extreme negativity and even, a few times, blackouts. Only when I discovered some of the literature on Mind Control and religious cults did I begin to piece together what had happened to me. The key to cult indoctrination is the recreation of the member’s personality, what experts call a “cult personality.” This personality is very loyal to the cult’s doctrines and very hard to understand when it takes place in one’s own personality. It creates a kind of dualism within oneself. When that happens, even the thought of leaving the cult can bring on a whole mass of emotional reactions, including extreme fear and depression.
How do the techniques of AMORC differ from most religious cults? What is Remote Indoctrination?
AMORC has various Lodges, where members meet, throughout the world. Still, I doubt whether most members attend them regularly. The essence of AMORC’s grip on its disciples, in my opinion, is a correspondence course coupled with certain so-called spiritual exercises, which is at the core of the course.
Religious cults, in general, are very hand-on. Group activities serve initially to fatigue and brainwash the new member. There is very heavy person-to-person influence involved and lots of activities and work to quickly cement the disciple in his affiliation. AMORC uses another methodology, which I call Remote Indoctrination. Their form of Remote Indoctrination relies on using powerful authoritarian claims, rooted in the various lessons, called Monographs, combined with hypnotic techniques and phobia inducing claims. I have a 16 Article, somewhat sarcastic, Declaration of Remote Indoctrination, in my book, which describes in detail what is necessary to accomplish this process; namely, brainwashing without a prison cell or powerful group meetings with a charismatic leadership. It’s quite amazing to experience, but very, very hard to understand if one’s caught up to it. You become a Mind Slave of an external organization without even realizing it.
You had a painful and ambivalent relationship with AMORC for many years. What made you want to review this long and difficult period by writing a book? Do you believe that there really are authentic Rosicrucian Orders and what would that actually mean?
When I finally began to understand what had happened to me, I determined not only to escape for my own sake, but to warn other people about AMORC and other religious cults and, perhaps, serve as a bridge to help people in cults with their own exit strategy. After all, my own escape was partly fueled by the works of Steve Hassan and Margaret Thaler Singer. If their books hadn’t existed, I never would have pieced it all together and begun the work on myself that allowed me to dissolve enough of my cult personality to obtain the freedom in myself to leave.
I believe, in the literature of cult entrapment, my story is somewhat unique. First, because my book is a very intimate history of what happened to me. It goes into a lot of depth and is essentially a memoir. Second, I pursue in great detail, the technique of Remote Indoctrination as practiced by AMORC. Members of that group will have the opportunity to directly examine their psychological state and their ties to that organization.
Are there authentic Rosicrucian organizations?
I can’t say. I haven’t been looking lately. I can say this- if there is, they are operating from a different foundation from AMORC, as it functions today. It is obvious that the 17th century manuscripts, like the Famas Fraternitas, which describe the Order are somewhat encoded- both to their internal structure and content. I have not broken any of these codes and am presently celebrating my liberation from something that was dangerous and unhealthy for my personal liberty. A true religious organization, in my opinion, would not make the kind of super monolithic authority that is one of the pillars of AMORC’s grip on its members.
How do you view the intentions, writings and background of the Founder, H. Spencer Lewis?
With tremendous suspicion. I cannot say that I have penetrated into the secret recesses of his mind, but I believe essentially he was making false claims about his organization from the very beginning. I document his efforts in the beginning of the book and show some amazing similarities between AMORC and the Order of the Golden Dawn, an earlier occult organization, started in England as a spin-off from a co-called German Rosicrucian Order. I think he was a great organizer and a great publicist with the genius to know that to establish some kind of lineage for his organization, whatever its truth, was a key to giving AMORC the kind of authoritarian control that he needed.
Do you believe that you gained anything positive through participating in the Order?
Perhaps the ability to show other people that they should not participate in the Order. Also, a unique experience of over twenty years of having my life controlled by something outside myself. None of this is really positive unless I can help save other people from the experience or at least accelerate their exit strategy.
Why do you think you were forced into poverty and homelessness because of the Order?
If you study the monographs like I did, you begin to see a kind of dualism in them. On the one hand, they portray membership in the Order as rather easy, involving only a few hours a week of study. But if you look carefully, you see something else- a kind of covert agenda, which only the truly serious and faithful student will pick up. This agenda promises success only to those who truly practice the exercises rigorously and often and continually to review and reread the monographs. The true adept will be constantly praying and meditating in his home sanctum; adopting a special breathing protocol which he will be constantly practicing, adopting a special posture for sleeping; constantly trying to visualize his goals and see auras- until he achieves his goals. But since the goals, in my opinion, are simply unachievable due to the deficiency of the teaching, he will undertake a course of action that will dominate and control his life.
During my time in AMORC, I saw nothing but a negative linkage between prosperity and the exercises. I believe that since they didn’t work, all I did was try harder- and since my faith in AMORC had been amplified by hypnotic means, I could not quit and I could not ratchet my efforts downward so that I could carry out a normal life of friends, family and work.
You claim that AMORC uses hypnosis on its subjects. Since most of the Rosicrucian members practice at home, how can this possibly happen?
Many experts in Mind Control speak about the way a trance can be induced covertly. Prayer and meditation which may in certain contexts be valuable religious exercised, used to commune with one’s Deity, can also serve to bring the mind into a state of hypnosis. The difference between meditation used for a spiritual reason and for a mind control reason is the intention. In our case, we would be told to read about the authoritarian claims of AMORC at a time of suggestibility which was heightened by candles, incense, certain spiritual postures and rituals and chanting. I believe these practices made the incredible claims of AMORC much more credible, eventually working deeply in the personality of the member and transforming him into an unconscious servant of the Order.
What writers influenced you to become empowered enough to exit the Order?
I would say Steven Hassan, who wrote Combatting Cult Mind Control, was a big influence. Steven was a former Moonie leader who managed to escape from the cult and then began to devote his life to helping people leave various types of cults through the evolving discipline of exit psychology. Margaret Thaler Singer, who is now deceased, was a very lucid and profound sociological thinker and writer. Her book, which she wrote with Janja Lilich, Cults in Our Midst: the Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives, gave me my first profound glimpse as to the nature of my entrapment. I think both of these authors are indebted to an earlier writer, Robert Jay Lifton, who studied brainwashing techniques in China and Korea and created some of the foundations for modern mind control theory.
What do you recommend to someone who is in or has a family member or friend in a religious cult?
Several resources I have used are listed in the “Resources” section of this site.
The International Cultic Studies Association or ICSA, is a group which offers various types of help for cult members or their families. Their website can be found at http://www.icsahome.com/
Steve Hassan has his own website and exit counseling program. You can find him at http://www.freedomofmind.com/. There is a cult discussion group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freedomofmind/.
Besides these resources, there are others mentioned in my resume. But every person’s search will be different and it is worth spending some time looking at the alternatives in books and on the Internet.
What role does hypnosis play in AMORC? How are their practices of meditation and prayer related to hypnosis?
I think hypnosis, in the form of self-hypnosis, plays a subtle but powerful role in AMORC, particularly in the prescribed times in the Home Sanctum. Trance is induced in various ways and a message driven in by the authoritarian, monolithic authority of the monographs. Both meditation and prayer involve an opening up of the mind to Divinity, to higher authority. If that concept is twisted in the right way, these spiritual tools can be used to condition the mind to specific objectives by the human authority that controls the mind of the meditator or petitioner. Instead of creating spiritual communion, these tools will heighten suggestibility.
Do you believe that AMORC is secretly controlled by Invisible Masters?
In our Sanctum, we were told to visualize that Spiritual Masters were present while we performed our rituals and studied the monographs. In my opinion, this is just one more way of gaining authority over the members. I do not believe in the reality of these Invisible Masters, as described by AMORC or related to their organization. Although I keep my mind open, I do not find myself comfortable in creating realties that do not exist and I guard against it.
What would you say to someone seriously contemplating joining AMORC?
I suggest they read my book first.
This is your second book on AMORC. Why did you feel compelled to write it?
My first book, The Prisoner of San Jose, was quite autobiographical. It showed how this organization I joined in Haiti, the Ancient Mystic Order of Rosae Crucis, a supposedly fraternal organization with an impeccable historical pedigree, turned out to be utilizing a mind control platform that gravely impacted on my life. I went from a promising, young engineering student in Haiti, who had risen from stark, unyielding poverty to someone who could support a family of five while going to one of the best engineering schools in the world- to a homeless vagrant, wandering the streets of Miami and New York- filled with anger and despair, but still nurturing these unrealistic ideas fed to me by AMORC. In the book, I showed how my personality was rebuilt, in typical cult fashion, to conform to the needs of the parent organization, AMORC, whose membership retention plan was basically to inflate the self-importance of each member by making them think they were turning into cosmic supermen. But, despite all that, after getting into communication with some of my readers, I began to think I had not really gone far enough.
Why do you think you had more work to do?
In dealing with various readers, often from members of AMORC, the feedback on my book showed me that I had not really explained the process of mind control well enough. Yes, I had explained how I had changed and why AMORC was using all the tools of a mind control cult. But a lot of people who read the book were still incredulous. I felt, for one thing, I had to go into more depth about hypnotic induction and the actual platform that AMORC uses to induce repeated hypnotic induction with a progressive system of occult exercises that become increasingly grandiose in their claims.And increasingly empowered to alter at least some of the members so they actually learn to create perceptually what is not there. In other words, I wanted to show how AMORC has created an hypnotic platform for progressive advancement in the power to literally hallucinate, as well as to disappear what is actually there. The latter ability- being able to make things disappear in the subject’s perceptual field- is only possible in the deepest level of hypnotic trance.
You talk about AMORC’S grandiose claims. What do you mean?
If you ever read one of AMORC’s flamboyant ads, you would see how they often have catered to man’s desire to go to other worlds, to be telepathic, to travel out of the body, to voyage in time to ancient civilizations. The truth is- the monographs actually attempt to provide exercises for doing just that. A student is taught to move objects with his mind; to gaze into a crystal ball or a bowl of clear water and see the future; to telepathically communicate with a friend or even visit him without of the body travel; to psychically heal some of the most difficult diseases; to commune on the highest level with the “Cosmic,” Rosicrucian name for God.
You mentioned communing with God. Is there a lot of that in AMORC?
Putting aside their ads for a moment, I would say that there is a huge pretense on the part of AMORC to be, first and foremost, a truly spiritual organization.
But what does that really mean? There are lots of types of spiritual organizations.
Well, remember- AMORC says that it is an “Ancient and MYSTIC Order.” A mystic is a person who has achieved unity with God. Let’s put it this way- he has learned to transcend his solely personal identity to partake, at least to a degree, in the consciousness of God. This idea is not confined to fraternal orders. Christians like St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross are considered mystics. Muslims like Rumi and Omar Khayyam, both Sufis, are considered mystics. Buddha and Socrates, judging from their traditions and writings about them, were mystics. Mysticism requires a certain willingness to renounce the things of the world- meaning things involving your personal identifications with this world- to move into a world of transpersonal experience. By this I mean simply to raise one’s consciousness above that of the personal ego- nothing more. I think, if you read the monographs, you will see that AMORC, being to its own professed traditions, says that this is the ultimate goal of each member- but, in reality, the monographs live and breathe to convince their members that, by practicing their exercises, they can have all these powers and get anything they want.
Does AMORC have a message similar to the popular movie and teaching called THE SECRET?
Yes- in the sense that AMORC does try to tell its members that, if they learned how to focus and visualize, they can have everything they want. It must be good stuff, though, in conformity with the laws of the “Cosmic,” but the process is the same- except it includes out-of-body experiences; the acquisition of core information about your past incarnations; the ability to heal the very sick with energy-transfer, hands-on healing protocols; the ability to see auras; to telepathically communicate, etc., etc.
In my opinion- and the view I advance in the book, a real spiritual path does, of necessity, require a person to travel to a place beyond the ego, to experience his transpersonal identity; that part of him that is truly one with God- in order to manifest the best possible life. That is a different message than AMORC or THE SECRET broadcasts. In my opinion, in the way these messages are articulated, they are various forms of the WAY OF THE MAGICIAN. In the Path of Mystical Union, God comes before everything else- spiritual powers and desires of the heart. As Jesus said and as I quote in the book, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all else will be granted unto you.”
How about this medical stuff you speak of in the book? These energy transfers?
I don’t understand how AMORC has the nerve to teach a system of healing that claims to have a scientific basis without disclosing anything but some flimsy, improvable theories to their members. Sure, they may have something in their archives- but most authentic healing organizations, practicing some form of alternative medicine- try to back up whatever claims they have through presenting clinical studies or at least some real, solid-sounding testimonials. AMORC really does nothing like this. Just read a few monographs and go out and heal your family and friends. And God help them if they trust too much in AMORC and forget their little disclaimers. I used their technique for a great deal of time before I went to a doctor and found out I had an ulcer.