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The October 4th Conference with R.A. Gilbert, Rose Circle Fellow
The day began early with throngs of people lined up for the art showing at noon. There were vendors of rare European Heraldic and Masonic jewelry, books on Hermeticism, art prints, and more. By the time 2 PM rolled around, the Egyptian Temple Room was packed with people from all walks of life (many making the trek from England, Portugal, Spain, France, and from states as far away as Kentucky, Missouri and Maine. Additional chairs had to be extracted from other floors in the building to accommodate the crowd. Rose Circle President Piers A. Vaughan delivered his expert lecture & artistically crafted slide presentation on Alchemy from the perspective of its historic origins, its relationship with the early Christian Church, the builders of cathedrals, the Masonic Lodge and the practical application of the principles of transmutation within the spiritual arena. David Lindez delivered his grounding historical lecture on the history of the SRICF, and R.A. Gilbert (noted for his highly critical and cynical take on things) delivered what was a ground breaking report of academic, technical research in climactic fashion, showing his hand for perhaps the first time in the public realm as a practicing esotericist himself. Those who have only skimmed a few google results of his hundreds of books and journal articles, have for years now referred to Gilbert as the primary critic of fantasists, unscholarly masonic research, the occult, Waite, and magical orders. Near the end of this presentation, coupled with slides of never before seen images from Waite's own collection, Gilbert began to propose some of his own subjective approaches to understanding images and distinguishing between those which work effectively and come alive and those which fail. All along, he was careful to assert certain guidelines, providing heaps of evidence and pointing to documents such as the Fama in citing that once one moves away from the Trinitarian Christian approach to this ascent up the Tree of Life, it ceases to be Rosicrucian. The dialogue and discourse to be had in the Q&A session was at times heated with the intensity of great zeal, but it was tempered by our Moderator, Mr. Robert Morton, a retired US Marine and CEO of Mortonbooks Publishers. Afterwards, R.A. Gilbert was presented with his Certificate as a Fellow of the Rose Circle Research Society.