Length: 38 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
AMORC’s First Temple Degree Initiation Illustrated – The Full Version is a non-fiction by author Pierre S. Freeman that describes the journey taken by the newbies of AMORC as they begin to step into a world of, as they believe, self realization and higher consciousness. There is a smaller, abridged version of the book, with this one being a more detailed account of the entire initiation process as well as its adherence to actual ancient, esoteric practices. Most of the book is written as a recollection of the process of initiation. Freeman adds to this narrative, through his commentary, an insight into what the neophytes feel and are made to feel, as well as a satirical take on why this may be so. Having been a part of the same organization for over twenty six years, Freeman brings authenticity to the book in a way that only first hand experience can.
I have read AMORC’s First Temple Degree Initiation Illustrated – The Abridged Version and have also reviewed it on this blog. I picked this book up to see if it could shed more light on many of the concepts that seemed half finished in the abridged version and I was not disappointed.
The Full Version has Freeman’s signature style of sarcasm and satire that makes an otherwise serious topic seem oddly amusing. However, it never loses its seriousness and addresses the curiosity that many people probably feel towards cults and their magnetic pull. Freeman describes, step by step, what each new member goes through in the initiation process in a simple yet descriptive and accurate manner. While reading about this process though, you are bound to ask yourself many questions beginning with a simple ‘why’. Why is it that such a simple procedure has such control over the newbies emotions and willpower? Freeman provides the answer as he explains every small detail that goes towards turning a simple step into an effective procedure. Every small detail, including the turning on and off of music is mentioned to give you a real feel for everything that the newbies feel. He also explains how, through the use of varying pitch and tone, lighting, and even costumes, the newbies are maintained in a state of mind that would best suit AMORC’s purpose of incorporating them as members. But he also continues to describe how, to an outsider, this would seem very much like a dress up party and that too one that is not very successful.
This stark difference of understanding between one who has a point of view from the outside and one who is experiencing each part of the initiation procedure explains why the newbies are pulled into the cult and how they may be affected in the years to come. Freeman also explains, in complete detail, the actual practices that have influenced the initiation procedure. With a reference to a multitude of practices, across multiple religions, Freeman explains what it is that such newbies may be in search for, and what is actually taught to them through AMORC – the two rarely match, but these newbies are controlled by the belief that they truly are.
Freeman’s knowledge in terms of the many practices that have been in use over the years is expansive to say the least. He incorporates those ideas to give his readers an understanding of the meaning behind each part of the process and given the plethora of examples and references, it is quite easy for people to understand and associate with regardless of the religion or faith that they follow.
All in all, the book takes a serious look at the procedure that sets in motion life changes for some people, but it does so in a manner that is both educational and interesting. Freeman makes clear the differences between true organizations that believe in spreading knowledge of higher consciousness and others that simply use similar tactics to gain mind control of innocent people who then become financiers for years on end. Such cults are not something to be taken lightly. And Freeman’s matter of fact way of approaching the initiation procedure gives people an insight into how transparent and hollow many of these processes are – hopefully to let people make better, more informed choices if ever faced with such a need.
If you’re a follower of everything that is related to cults or have been a reader of everything that deals with the higher consciousness and ways to achieve it, then this book is a good one to add to your collection. It may not give you tips to achieve that for which you are looking. But it will surely tell you where you should and should not turn to in hopes of finding it.