Mysteries of The Tradition

Ancient and Modern


Raymond Bernard: Questions and Answers

Why of an interview

These pages are the result of a strange situation, which, unfortunately have persisted for a few years, since some tragic events have brought to the front stage related what some call the occult world of sects, and others, more simply, the traditional movements.

The world of the tradition is, by nature, discrete.  Is that a reason to write or speak about the tradition without really knowing it and, especially - a fact, which is incomprehensible to say the least - without even taking the pains to question those who know it?

The gap between reality and the version presented by the media is such that a reaction has become necessary.  It is time to give the floor to those about whom much has been said - and not always in good, and especially not always with exactitude - without ever listening to them.

These pages, dedicated to the truth, are thus devoted to a man who has played a role, during a forty-year period, in the world of the tradition: Raymond Bernard.

The interview, which will follow was proposed and conducted on February 19, 1999 by individuals who, knowing Raymond Bernard for a long time, requested of him kindly to answer their questions in order to allow those who seek clear and objective information, a different view by way of direct testimony.

All opinions are admissible, as long as they are based upon real data.  Such is the goal of these pages: to bring real data to those who would take the time to read them.

This site is but a beginning.  New elements will be added to it gradually in the form of other questions relating to the world of the universal tradition, of a sound illustration, or all other means suitable to making these pages a real space of truth.

Synopsis

  1. Raymond Bernard, the media, especially in Switzerland and France, many times have devoted titles, reports and interviews with regard to the O.T.S.  Have you been in contact with the OTS?
  2. Did you ever meet Jo di Mambro or Luc Jouret?
  3. What is the origin of the ORT?
  4. What does the Cardinal in White, the mysterious character in your account "Secret Meeting in Rome", represent in the Templar transmission?
  5. Is there a common authority, a form of synarchy, to which all Orders refer?
  6. This mysterious personage, Maha, who is supposed to be in contact with all the Orders, is he real?
  7. Why did you cease all effective participation in the work of AMORC, initially as Grand Master in 1977, then as Supreme Legate in 1986?
  8. Can the fact that your son succeeded you suggest that AMORC is a family business?
  9. What is it that led you to create of so many movements?
  10. Why not have done all of that within the framework of a given organization, which you directed?
  11. Have you been initiated by Jacques Breyer?
  12. What are your personal relationships with Freemasonry?
  13. Can you speak to us about your relationships with Africa and with certain African political personalities?
  14. You have also been a consultant to political personalities.  Where is the limit between the fraternal and the political, and what financial outcomes resulted from it?
  15. Therefore there existed a CIRCES Africa before CIRCES France?
  16. After your withdrawal from the function of Supreme Legate in AMORC, did you leave for Africa with a particular project (in mind)?
  17. What is the influence of the Secret Service in traditional movements?
  18. Certain exercises, such as Medifocus, were they not intended to influence political personalities?
  19. Are you at the origin of the term "transition" to indicate death?
  20. What then do you think of the use of the term "transit"?
  21. Had you not, through all your functions, become a guru?

 

Questions and answers

1. Raymond Bernard, the media, especially in Switzerland and France have many times devoted titles, reports and interviews with regard to the O.T.S.  Have you been in contact with the OTS?

In response to questions, which could, at whatever moment, be presented to me on this subject, I have said and repeated that I absolutely had nothing to see with the organization, which was known under the name of l'Ordre du Temple Solaire (The Order of the Solar Temple).  I respond clearly and categorically that I only heard spoken of it for the first time, like everyone else, at the time of the tragedy.  I thus declare, in a manner clear, complete and energetic, that any reference, which could be made to a relation, even remote, between the Order of the Solar Temple (the OTS) and me, would be completely and definitively false and deceitful.  I am no more informed with regard to questions relating to the OTS than is the general public, who has read in a newspaper or in a magazine, or heard on the radio something on this subject, or has seen some program on the television.

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2. Have you ever met Jo diMambro or Luc Jouret?

In a traditional and ancient movement such as AMORC, which includes thousands of members, it is impossible for any one leader to know them all, even if in theory fraternal bonds unify the ensemble.  My functions in AMORC were successively those of Grand Master, then Supreme Legate for Europe, and finally a member of the World Council made up, at that time, of only five members and headquartered in the United States, in California, the supreme seat of the Order at that time.  These functions were such that, from the point of view of work, the activities and the responsibilities did not allow a contact with each member of the Order individually.  The situation, in such functions, is the same as that of a leader of a very large company in the world in general.

With regard to Mr. diMambro, the fact that he had been, according to the traditional terminology, " Master" (one is such for one or two years) of a Rosicrucian Lodge, it would be possible that I met him.  I was told after the tragedy, of which one is aware, that I had excluded Mr. diMambro from AMORC.  I have no memory of the circumstances, nor of the reasons for this exclusion.  According to information that which has been given to me, he was no longer a Rosicrucian after a certain date.  As for me, I have no - I emphasize "no" memory of Mr. diMambro.  Even if he were at one time a Rosicrucian, I regret to say that he did not strike me to the point that I would remember him particularly, and this, even if, a file having come to my office, I followed a recommendation of exclusion relating to him, in accordance with the rules of the Order.

As for Mr. Luc Jouret, I have never met him and I cannot, as a consequence, have any memory of him whatsoever.

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3. What is the origin of the ORT?

The work of Serge Caillet entitled:  "The Renovated Order of the Temple, at the roots of the Solar Temple", published by Dervy and certainly always available, is the best and the most complete reference on this subject.  I will thus summarize very briefly what is reported so perfectly in this book.

I am at the origin of the ORT.  Whereas the Order of the Rose-Croix AMORC was in full formation in France, there was nevertheless a great interest on the part of the public in questions dealing with the Templars. I thought, in order to prevent the members of the AMORC from dispersing, that it was judicious to establish within the bosom of AMORC, or in very close association with it, a movement, which would bear the name of Templar. I thus asked for the opinion of the World Leader of AMORC, he who has the traditional title of Imperator.  He finally gave his consent and I thus created the organization called l'Ordre Rénové du Temple The Renovated Order of the Temple.  I did this in October 1970 in the form of a legal association, distinct from AMORC.  This Order, from its creation and until the moment when I lost interest in it completely, in October 1972, was reserved uniquely for the members of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.  There was then no exception to this rule.  The general conditions with regard to questions about the Templars having quickly changed, and the interest of Rosicrucians having also quickly decreased, more quickly than envisioned at the beginning, it was no longer necessary that a Templar movement be tied to AMORC.  I thus charged Julien Origas with the responsibility for the Renovated Order of the Temple.  Julien Origas was a member of the AMORC, a very loyal member.  For a time, he wished to keep me informed then, upon my insistence, because AMORC occupied all of my time, he stopped, and conducted the affairs of the ORT as he understood it.  I no longer needed to be informed and I was not.  AMORC had nothing more to do with the ORT, and it was the same for me.

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4. What does the Cardinal in White, the mysterious character of your account "Secret Meeting in Rome", represents in the Templar transmission?

Finding myself in Rome in October 1955, I met Giuseppe Cassarà di Castellamare whose address had been communicated to me by Ralph M. Lewis, World Director of AMORC.  He quickly became a personal friend, then through him I became acquainted with the Grand Master of a rather important branch of Italian Freemasonry, with Templar interests, the Count Damiani, member of an old Italian family.  Thus I was received into a Masonic Fraternity whose origins and traditions are so-called Templar.  But I specify immediately and with insistence that, in my mind and my firm conviction, there is no possible link between any Templar organization whatsoever and the Order of the Temple, which was created in the twelfth century.  That, I have never ceased and nor I will ever cease to proclaim.

It so happens, certainly, in conferences, books and articles, that I have referred to the Templar aspect of an "Initiatic Reception", which was granted to me within a given framework.  This secular tradition was fundamentally Masonic, and by underlining its essential Templar character, I have told the truth exactly.  Not being able, at the time, in accordance with the rules of the Masonic Tradition, and especially out of respect for the confidential nature of such activities in a city, Rome, where it was prudent not to be too clear and precise, I could not specify the fact that the framework of this transmission was a branch of the Very Respectable Italian Freemasonry, and Masonic confidentiality is always the rule everywhere.  I "indicated", "revealed", without telling nor betraying.  By referring to "The Cardinal in White", I referred, in fact, by way of a significant allusion to the word cardinal, to an important personage whose garb (tenue) is white, required at the time, and symbolic of the tradition for which he assumed the responsibility.  I was not running counter to a symbolic truth by speaking of The Cardinal in White.  The Cardinal in White, was, from this point of view, a living symbol, a reality.  It is possible for me, actually, when I return to this great "past" and by extracting someone in particular from the assumed charge, to remember only the symbol represented and to sense all of its traditional power.

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5. Is there a common authority, a form of synarchy, to which all Orders refer?

If there were a common authority, there would surely not be these divisions, these difficult struggles, these criticisms sometimes - alas!  sour and often hypocritical relating to some, without fear of destroying their respectability.  That there is, behind all traditional activities and IN ESSENCE, the same spiritual or intellectual current, that is possible, but if one situates oneself in "manifest world" and only on the human, physical and material plane, it is absolutely impossible, for it would be contrary to fundamental human nature. It is enough to look at the multiple scissions, which have taken place periodically in all organizations, in particular in modern times, to note that this is the case, and to profit therefrom to stress that alas such movements, when they are opposed ones to other, whatever the motive, and as justified as it may be seemingly, they do not at all serve the common cause of the tradition.  If behind all of the Orders or movements there were an occult, hidden, common direction, it would certainly not permit such fights, prejudicial to the ensemble.  Such a direction absolutely does not exist.

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6. This mysterious personage, Maha, who would be in contact with all the Orders, is he real?

The word Maha is a Sanskrit term, which means "Grand". Maha was a character constructed from my meetings with several persons who, on a certain plane, in which I believe personally, represent a form of "spiritual authority of reference", because of their dedication to the research of what is named in the tradition "the eternal truth", and to the formulation, which they could give or transmit.  The word Maha thus designated, in my understanding, these various persons who, at no matter what time, have contributed their contribution to the tradition as it manifests itself in the service of humanity.  The ensemble of those who have labored in this sense, I have assembled them under the name of a character, Maha, who, thus explained, "assembled", is even more impressive in its multiplicity, its active diversity.

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7. Why did you cease all effective participation in the work of AMORC, initially as Grand Master in 1977, then as Supreme Legate in 1986?

Circumstances were such that my personal aspirations to be useful in such responsibilities were fulfilled, and I could not contribute further within this particular framework.  But, above all, time had come for others, and in particular for Christian Bernard, duly prepared and ready to breathe a new dynamics and a greater spiritual impulse, to assume their responsibilities and to accomplish their work.

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8. Can the fact that your son succeeded you suggest that AMORC is a family business?

When I resigned my functions, in particular that, fundamental position as a member of the Supreme Council, naturally someone else was to be elected in my place.  My son, who had grown up in this environment and who, without ever being forced, had become while still very young, a member of AMORC, was elected in a completely traditional way.  Thus, because my son was elected to my functions, some individuals made the remark that AMORC was a dynasty.  Tens of years before, in the United States, the same situation occurred, Ralph Mr. Lewis having been elected following his father.  Such a remark was not made there.  It is, in any case, a remark that one could call "rash".  In all republican countries, in France and elsewhere, it happens that the son is elected to replace his father.  One sees it in the City Halls, in the General Councils, in the Parliaments and other assemblies.  It is even a frequent situation.  There is nothing strange or particular that such occurs in fraternal movements.  I will even say, from experience, that it is to the satisfaction of the very large majority.  One understands that such charges are not always easy assumed, socially speaking.  I will add that twenty-five years ago there were not many candidates especially for functions to be fulfilled daily and with unbounded schedules.

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9. What led you to create of so many movements?

I have just explained it partly.  I will simply add that, to continue to interest those who were sincere seekers and to maintain them in this search, certain subjects and certain activities seemed to me to be amenable to be taken in one or more new directions, in a manner more in depth, without leaving the fundamental structure which was and remained for each the very basis of his/her work.  It is this very strong feeling, which led me to create some specific movements.  Each time it acted as a tentative, an effort, in order to bring an assistance to some and to spare them choices, which could not be sure for them.  Some of these movements were failures.  Others have endured.  But the essential, strong and firm rule that I have applied, maintained, and that others, after me, will continue to follow, is tolerance and respect for all traditional movements and for all efforts undertaken, wherever and by whomever, with, however, one reservation, which is: a creation, which would have as its unique foundation the ego, in the particular fields of the tradition and spiritual research, could not be valid and could not, in any event, be maintained.  All that is manifestation of the ego, just like the ego itself, has an inescapable end, even if this is more or less rapid.  What one calls "future" is thus, in this respect, the best judge.

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10. Why not have done all that within the framework of a given organization, which you directed?

I did so as far as possible, but this organization, like all the others, has rules and the respect of these rules is essential.  Within the framework of this organization, to introduce a particular search or to develop too much, to the detriment of the others, a particularity, would have led to a dispersion of the interest of those who had come to this movement to receive from it the traditional training given by it for almost a hundred years in its modern manifestation.  Such dispersion would have created a great confusion and would have been detrimental to all.  It is, besides, I suppose, always the major rule of the movement to which you refer and which is certainly the Order of the Rose-Croix, AMORC.

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11. Have you been initiated by Jacques Breyer?

Contrary to what one could say or affirm here or there, I saw Jacques Breyer only twice.  Once, when I was invited by a relation who belonged to the same Masonic tradition as I, to be present, as "curious", at a ceremony held in a village close to Mount Obiou.  This circumstance is mentioned in the book by Serge Caillet.  Another time, at the time of a short and formal meeting at the house of a friend of his mother.  I had naturally heard spoken of Jacques Breyer because, in the 1960s, his books entitled "Solar Mysteries" and "Dante Alchemist", were often mentioned in certain Masonic and other different mediums.

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12. What are your personal relationships with Freemasonry?

Even though I cannot participate regularly in meetings, in any "tenue" [ritual gatherings], because my health does not permit me to do so, I remain a member of a Great Masonic Obedience.

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13. Can you speak to us about your relationships with Africa and certain African political personalities?

I began to assume my responsibilities in the Order of the Rose-Croix, AMORC on March 1, 1956 at a time when what was called de-colonization was not yet undertaken, nor even under consideration in the manner that it was thereafter carried out.  However, already at that time, the Rosicrucian Teachings, being sent to the members of AMORC in the form of monographs, Africans, on their entire continent, received them, initially in English, beginning with other jurisdictions and other countries, then in French, emanating from France, when a French jurisdiction was created after the last world war.  At the time when I took my responsibilities in AMORC, many Africans were already Rosicrucians.  Among them, many had an academic training and among these African members of AMORC, at the time when elections took place during the de-colonization, some were then elected to occupy very important functions, or were chosen to occupy them.  These persons undoubtedly had their particular concerns, political and otherwise, their will to devote themselves to their country, and circumstances were thus that they were desired to realize their individual hopes and choices.  However, some were already either Rosicrucians or Freemasons, or both, i.e. members of the two essential currents of this time. There was not, indeed, in 1956, nor during the entire 1960s, as many organizations, sects and others, as there are nowadays.

It is thus clear that the fact that certain Rosicrucians or Freemasons, or both, then accepted political offices of first order, had not been a specific choice, which was made by AMORC or by Freemasonry.  It was simply that at the time when they took up their duty, they were already Rosicrucians, Freemasons or both.  That is what I am able to present in response to your question, being well specified, and I insist, that all the eminent political leaders of these countries have not been in this situation.  Some certainly never belonged to anything.  Moreover, I do not really understand why reference is so often made to Africa and the Africans in the fields, which we discuss.  Men are men everywhere, wherever they are, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia or whatever other continent.

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14. You have also been a consultant to political personalities.  Where is the limit between the fraternal and the political, and what financial outcomes resulted from it?

Nobody, before me, in the world of the tradition, which occupies us in this conversation, had gone to Africa to visit the African members, and when I went there, Rosicrucians of Africa thought it necessary that I meet their great political leaders.  They did so because for them, I personified the ideal to which they were attached and which their political leaders also represented, for them, another form of the ideal, that of their fatherland, their country.

The fact that I had assumed, in this same world of the tradition, the responsibilities during years, it also happened that certain Rosicrucians in charge of political responsibilities considered traditional work accomplished under my authority as perfectly useful for the wellbeing of their country, and thought of expressing to me their gratitude by conferring upon me a particular function in their country, and by asking my eventual opinion on various subjects, particularly cultural.  And I have been very honored by their confidence.  They were by no means required to consider me as an adviser.  I did, in any case, my best to be useful.  If I gave an account of these facts, if I allowed that in certain biographies mention to be made of it, it is because I am infinitely grateful to these African countries, to their highly placed leaders and thus to the Africans themselves as a whole, to have wished, because of what I represented, to recognize me personally as being capable of receiving, on their premises, an sufficiently important official title, to express their confidence in me, their friendship and their respect.

On a more recent date, in fact since 1986, a CIRCES Africa had been established and it so happened that because of the functions occupied by the persons in charge of this CIRCES Africa, they were in a position even to assist the local CIRCES financially.  When a CIRCES was then established in France, this African CIRCES helped the French CIRCES.  It is not a State, a President, a Minister, or some other personage, who contributed to the establishment of this movement. It is this same movement, such as it existed before in these African countries, which brought its temporary material aid, in the form of duly formulated loan from the point of view of the official documents, to the movement whose seat was established in France.

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15. Therefore there existed a CIRCES Africa before CIRCES France?

Absolutely, and for a long time it was a question as to whether the CIRCES of France would simply be a subsidiary of the CIRCES of Africa, particularly when it was established in the Cameroon.  Besides, this is why certain accusations were made, which are not very pleasant neither for the people of the Cameroon, nor for the other Africans in general, nor for those who act in the world, and in France in particular, within the framework of this movement.  All was done in CIRCES in an absolutely regular way.

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16. After your withdrawal from the function of Supreme Legate in AMORC, did you leave for Africa with a particular project [in mind]?

I did not have any project.  After my retirement from the function of Legate, it was necessary for me to have a sort of "cutting off", or personal "rupture", and I thought that in order to accomplish this, it was best for me to leave, to go somewhere.  The opportunity presented itself, at the time of a conversation, which I had with a friend, to go to Africa.  We thus left, my wife and I, to live in the Cameroon, where we remained for a rather long time.  It is besides in the Cameroon, in a residence obligingly put at my disposal, that I wrote certain documents, which were then used within the framework of CIRCES, such as it was in the beginning.

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17. What is the influence of the Secret Service in the traditional movements?

I must be again very clear and categorical in my response on this subject.  Never, at any time, has any contact whatsoever has been made with me in order to fulfill a mission of this sort, or that I do anything whatsoever in the service of an unspecified organ of information and, to be even more precise, I affirm clearly that at no time has there been any pressure, official, semi-official, or other request, which could, in any manner, make me suppose that one expected that I accomplish a mission for the information services or official services of any nature whatsoever.  Therefore, insofar as I am personally concerned, and with regard to the traditional movements in which I assumed responsibilities, and this is the case with all movements such as the Rosicrucian Order AMORC, Freemasonry, CIRCES, or the OSTI, I insist, there has NEVER been any influence from the Secret Service, nor from any organs of information or other [services].  NEVER.  To claim otherwise would be an out and out lie, pure fabrication, pure calumny and pure slander!

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18. Certain exercises, such as Medifocus, were they not intended to influence political personalities?

Allow me to stress that I am not at all, personally, at the origins of what has been called Medifocus.  The Order of the Rose-Croix AMORC had, at this time, its world headquarters in San Jose, California.  The idea of Medifocus was born there, i.e. at the world headquarters of AMORC, in San Jose, in the United States, with the intention, certainly completely laudable, to create an ambient vibration such as one could hope to see establishing more harmony between various countries by way of their leaders or their officials, by sending them positive thoughts.  At the end of a few months, the leaders of the Order realized that Medifocus could be badly understood or badly interpreted, intentionally or not, and I remember having myself expressed great reservations about Medifocus. Medifocus was thus quickly suppressed and it is for the least curious that one speaks about it again after so many years, given that it was so quickly suppressed.  Some precision could be also useful.  Medifocus, during the very short time that the work had been proposed, was not a secret practice.  Mention was made of it in all the Rosicrucian magazines, including those placed at the disposition of the public everywhere in the world, but the original idea was one of understanding, of reflection, meditation, and not of intervention.  This spiritual practice, I repeat it, lasted a very short time.

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19. Are you at the origin of the term "transition" to indicate death?

Absolutely not!  They are the teachings of AMORC, which, since 1915, used this term.  What the Rosicrucian Teachings wished to express by this word, is the fact that death - Rosicrucians being basically believers - is not an ultimate end.  And this leads me to underline an important, fundamental point.  Life in this world, for whomsoever is a believer and is interested in spiritual research, is not subjected to the will of man.  A Rosicrucian or any other authentic spiritualist, whatever his or her affiliation, will never commit suicide.  Fundamentally only a materialist, an unbeliever, can commit such an act, by thinking that death is an end.  It should, however, be noticed that, subjected to an immense physical suffering due to disease or intense moral distress, someone can, if he or she is not helped, come to an act of such extremity.  But that is an exceptional case, which does not change the rule nor the fundamental conception of existence, which is that no one can, if he or she is a believer, terminate his or her existence in this world.  In other words, an authentic spiritualist because, for him or her, the body is the temple of the soul, endeavors to maintain it in good health. I have never seen an authentic "Seeker" not reflect upon the means of being completely in form and of living as long a time as he or she can, in order to be able to act, under the best conditions and thus to participate actively in the world.  The term "transition" from the Rosicrucian Teachings, in English, was used in the monographs translated into French, to indicate death.  There is no other explanation to be given.  Let us note simply that there are other words which, because one day someone committed a reprehensible act, have then themselves taken on a reprehensible and particular significance, in response to an event having caught the public attention.  But that does not mean, however, that these words, in their essence and in their truth, should signify something harmful or of negative.  With regard to the word "transition", it is intended to signify "a continuity", and not a rupture, an end.  For the believer, for the spiritualist, man is not the Master of the duration of his existence.  It is not granted to him to put an end to it.   It is, from my point of view, an error, and a serious fault to decide consciously one's own end.  To die is not a decision, which belongs to man, it is a natural circumstance.  Man can intervene, in his existence, only by acting in such a way as to prolong, for as long as possible, the existence of his tool, which is the body.

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20. What then do you think of the use of the term "transit"?

Transit or transition, there is no difference in the significance of the word.  It is a simple question of terminology and all that I have just said thus applies to the one and the other of these terms.

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21.Had you not, through all your functions, become a guru?

I do not think that any thoughtful person could ever consider me as such, but I will respond to this: I have never, and within the framework of any movement whatsoever, ever assumed the functions of a guru.  In the Order Rose-Croix AMORC, the functions are elective and it is the same in Freemasonry.  It happened that in France, in the Order Rose-Croix AMORC, I was re-elected several times and I thus held my functions during a significant number of years.  In countries close to France, in particular, persons in charge were not re-elected to the functions, which they occupied and thus changes were much more noticeable.  For the members of AMORC, as for the Freemasons or the OSTI, they do not certainly have a guru.  In these groups there is no direction given in an arbitrary, dogmatic or dictatorial manner. Absolutely not!  Those who assume a duty periodically give an accounting to an assembly, itself elected.  And that is the case in the internal organization of AMORC, as in the other great traditional movements.  In AMORC, to cite only this movement, its supreme office was, and it is undoubtedly always so, in the final analysis, the expression of the will expressed by votes at the time of conventions open to all the members.  If, to take my own example, I were elected to the Supreme Board, I was confirmed in these functions at the time of a convention bringing together all the members. Admittedly, one can, by observing various traditional organizations, notice that the leaders hardly change.  To that, I will respond by observing, including in France, that the majority of the great political parties have had the same leaders for tens of years.  As of the moment that the members of these parties are satisfied and that, by their various assemblies, they re-elect the same people, it is certainly so much better for the continuity of the activities of these parties.  Why, consequently, be astonished that it can be the same in traditional movements, as it is the case in AMORC or as it is the case in other great movements, such as Freemasonry, CIRCES, or the Sovereign Order of the Initiatory Temple, the OSTI?  If the members come to be dissatisfied with the way in which they are led, they would express it at the time of their votes and their leaders would then be different.  But why change them as of the moment that they fulfill their function, as it should be, and they represent those who placed them in their charge by direct or indirect votes, i.e. by an elective system on several levels?  And that is valid for all movements, whether political, cultural or in whatever other domain.

Generally when one considers the activities of a traditional movement, whether it is Freemasonry, the Order Rose-Croix AMORC, the OSTI, one would like to make of it a particular case.  There is no particular case.  The same manner of proceeding is followed in all movements.  In France they are founded in accordance with the law of 1901, which implies a general assembly, one or more elected offices and leaders themselves elected, regardless of the adopted mode of election.

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