In 1188 the Ordre de Sion is also said to have modified its name, adopting the one which has allegedly obtained to the present the Prieure de Sion.
And, as a kind of subtitle, it is said to have adopted the curious name "Ormus'. This subtitle was supposedly used until 1306 - a year before the arrest of the French Templars. The device for "Ormus' was U. and involves a kind of acrostic or anagram which combines a number of key words and symbols. "Ours' means bear in French "Ursus' in Latin, an echo, as subsequently became apparent, of Dagobert II and the Merovingian dynasty. "Ome' is French for 'elm'. "Or', of course, is 'gold'. And the 'm' which forms the frame enclosing the other letters is not only an 'm', but also the astrological sign for Virgo connoting, in the language of medieval iconography, Notre Dame.
Our researches revealed no reference anywhere to a medieval order or institution bearing the name "Ormus'. In this case we could find no external substantiation for the text in the Dossiers secrets, nor even any circumstantial evidence to argue its veracity. On the other hand, "Ormus' does occur in two other radically different contexts. It figures in Zoroastrian thought and in Gnostic texts, where it is synonymous with the principle of light. And it surfaces again among the pedigrees claimed by late eighteenthcentury Freemasonry.
According to Masonic teachings, Ormus was the name of an Egyptian sage and mystic, a Gnostic 'adept' of Alexandria. He lived, supposedly, during the early years of the Christian epoch. In A.D. 46 he and six of his followers were supposedly converted to a form of Christianity by one of Jesus's disciples, Saint Mark in most accounts. From this conversion a new sect or order is said to have been born, which fused the tenets of early Christianity with the teachings of other, even older mystery schools. To our knowledge this story cannot be authenticated. At the same time, however, it is certainly plausible. During the first century A.D. Alexandria was a veritable hotbed of mystical activity, a crucible in which Judaic, Mithraic, Zoroastrian, Pythagorean, Hermetic and Neo-Platonic doctrines suffused the air and combined with innumerable others. Teachers of every conceivable kind abounded; and it would hardly be surprising if one of them adopted a name implying the principle of light.
According to Masonic tradition, in A.D. 46 Ormus is said to have conferred on his newly constituted 'order of initiates' a specific identifying symbol - a red or a rose cross. Granted, the red cross was subsequently to find an echo in the blazon of the Knights Templar, but the import of the text in the Dossiers secrets, and in other "Prieure documents', is unequivocally clear. One is intended to see in Ormus the origins of the so-called Rose-Croix, or Rosicrucians. And in 1188 the Prieure de Sion is said to have adopted a second subtitle, in addition to "Ormus'. It is said to have called itself 1"Ordre de la Rose-Croix Veritas.
At this point we seemed to be in very questionable territory, and the text in the "Prieure documents' began to appear highly suspect. We were familiar with the claims of the modern "Rosicrucians' in California and other contemporary organisations, who claim for themselves, after the fact, a pedigree harking back to the mists of antiquity which includes most of the world's great men.
An "Order of the Rose-Croix' dating from 1188 appeared equally spurious.
As Frances Yates had demonstrated convincingly, there is no known evidence of any "Rosicrucians' (at least by that name) before the early seventeenth century or perhaps the last years of the sixteenth. 'z The myth surrounding the legendary order dates from approximately 1605, and first gained impetus a decade later with the publication of three inflammatory tracts. These tracts, which appeared in 1614, 1615 and 1616 respectively, proclaimed the existence of a secret brotherhood or confraternity of mystical 'initiates', allegedly founded by one Christian Rosenkreuz who, it was maintained, was born in 1378 and died, at the hoary age of 106, in 1484. Christian Rosenkreuz and his secret confraternity are now generally acknowledged to have been fictitious a hoax of sorts, devised for some purpose no one has yet satisfactorily explained, although it was not without political repercussions at the time. Moreover, the author of one of the three tracts, the famous Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, which appeared in 1616, is now known. He was Johann Valentin Andrea, a German writer and theologian living in Wurttemberg, who confessed that he composed The Chemical Wedding as a 'ludibrium' - a 'joke', or perhaps a 'comedy' in Dante's and Balzac's sense of the word. There is reason to believe that Andrea, or one of his associates, composed the other "Roiscrucian' tracts as well; and it is to this source that "Roiscrucianism', as it evolved and as one thinks of it today, can be traced.