Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Original Structure of the Rosicrucian Order in old Europe

I decided to write this article on this blog as a result of my membership, after more than 40 years of study in the AMORC system, thinking about the image passed by the Order about its origins and background as well as exploring the reasoning of changing the Traditional Rosicrucian transmission and group organisation to a global enterprise structure.  

I would like to open a discussion regarding the concept of an Adept and its required preparation in an esoteric school settings like the Rosicrucian orders, not only AMORC but other Rosicrucian schools or orders as well

Note: This is not a work of fiction but a deep research into the subject supported by many years of study and practices and directed to sincere students of the Rosicrucian Traditions. 

Released eBooks by Frater T.A.S. ::FRC XIII:

Summary of Topics

  • Introduction
  • Rosicrucian Origins
  • "Optimized" Rosicrucian Transmissions
  • Questions, Questions, Questions....
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Credits


Of course I know the advantages of a modern administrative structure required to deliver home study or online study lessons to a wide range of students in a world-wide basis. But I cannot see the reason why that system could not be integrated into the sacred way of transmission used by the original R+C groups.

Rosicrucian Origins

Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. These were the Fama Fraternitatis RC (The Fame of the Brotherhood of RC) and the Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of RC). Those documents settled the date of the Rosicrucian foundation by Christian Rosencreutzer (CRC) in 1440.

Some authors believe that Rosencreutzer was a pseudonym for the famous Rosicrucian, Sir Francis Bacon.  Also seems evident that the Rosicrucian manifesto was influenced by the respect and influential hermetic philosopher Heinrich Kunrath,  of Hamburg, author of the Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1609), who was in turn influenced by John Dee, author of the Monas Hieroglyphica (1564).

After the "Manifestos", we found other references about the externalizations of the Rosicrucian Tradition. For instance, Schuler in his book "Alchemical Poetry, 1575-1700" brings interesting references to Rosicrucian manuscripts and related authors such as Robert Fludd and Elias Ashmole around 1579-1644. However, positive evidence of the Tradition organized in a Order corpus type was referred by Sigmund Richter (1710). According to Allen Greenfield, in his book "The Roots of Modern Magick", page 31, he relates his accounts: "Kenneth Makenzie was well known in his time as a literarian historian of occultism and esoteric freemansory. (...) Mackenzie claimed to be in contact, prior to 1874, with six adepts of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Egypt, one of these being the famous magician Levi."

Probably those adepts from the Continental Europe came from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross (Orden des Gold- und Rosenkreutz, also known as the Fraternity of the Golden and Rosy Cross) a German Rosicrucian organization founded in the 1750s by Freemason and alchemist Hermann Fichtuld. Alchemy was to be a central study for members. Much of the hierarchical structure for this order was used in Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA), later by the Societas Rosicruciana in America and from there, by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (source Wikipedia) and its sprinted orders.

What I found in the vast literature available on the Rosicrucianism, was that in the pre and post WWI and particularly after the WWII, the Rosicrucian Order, if we can call all the various groups that called themselves Rosicrucians, that they were very small in number and without any connection between each other, relaying on individuals whom possessed some credentials proving their initiation by other individuals, instead of orders or organizations. If there was a Rosicrucian Council somewhere it had to have a very loose connection between their peers, something like CRC suggested in the works of the original brothers of the fraternity around 1400's, as mentioned in the Fama. Up to 1600's the situation seems to reflect the same loosing structure, of independent groups fending by themselves into America and other places. 

Between those who stand as a Rosicrucian initiators in the early 1900's we need to mention:

"Émile Dantinne (1884–1969) was a Belgian philosopher and esoterist. Member, then leader, of several esoteric societies based in Belgium such as 'La Rose+Croix Universitaire' and 'L'Ordre d'Hermès Tétramégiste', he founded in 1934 the F.U.D.O.S.I., or 'Fédération Universelle Des Ordres et Sociétés Initiatiques' (Universal Federation of Initiatic Orders and Societies). By that time he had adopted the esoteric name of Sâr Hieronymus.
The main Esoteric Order in the F.U.D.O.S.I. was the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis also known as A.M.O.R.C. The organization was the result of Harvey Spenser Lewis (HSL) (A.M.O.R.C. founder and first Imperator) friendship with Emile Dantinne and Joséphin Péladan. Dantinne was never a member of AMORC. Neither was Josephin Peladan. The latter was the founder and Grand Master of the Ordre Rose+Croix Catholique. Dantinne was an enthusiastic disciple of Peladan and inherited the mantle of Imperator of the OR+CC when Peladan died, changing its name to the Ordre Rose+Croix Universelle. Dantinne spoke several languages, among which Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Latin and Ancient Greek. He also was an accomplished writer. During his lifetime he published over 30 titles concerning topics such as foreign languages, local history, metaphysics, occultism etc." (Wikipedia)
"The Imperator for Europe of the F.U.D.O.S.I. was Emile Dantinne. Dantinne carried a lineage from Josephin Peladan, who founded the “ORDRE DE LA ROSE-CROIX CATHOLIQUE ET ESTHETIQUE DU TEMPLE ET DU GRAAL”. Peladan founded the Order in 1891 after he left the OKR+C .  The heart of the federation was built around these three French organizations. Before we present the history of each and every affiliated organization, we’ll dig a little deeper into “the French Occult revival” (or “Occult Revolution”, as it is sometimes referred to) of the late 19th century, which gave birth to the “key-organizations” of the F.U.D.O.S.I. : 
  • OKR+C, O.M. (Ordre Martiniste), 
  • OARC (Dantinne’s Rosicrucian Order) and 
  • AMORC , as the organization itself claims. 
Our special attention goes out to the “Rosicrucians of Toulouse”. Toulouse has always been a hot-bed for all sorts of brotherhoods and esoteric societies. Before we’ll discuss the “Rosicrucians of Toulouse”, we’ll take a (superficial) look at the French occultists which influenced the leaders of  “the French Occult revival” ( Papus, Peladan, Stanislas de Guaita, Wirth, Doinel and others)." (Milko Bogaart)
From an article published in the AMORC's official magazine The Rosicrucian, issue 37, a very well known Rosicrucian historian, Christopher Remisse, bring to us a detailed account about Harvey Spenser Lewis (HSL) initiation in France, based on HSL own notes. 

Also to complement that article I'll quote from a private publication, only available to AMORC Higher Degree members like myself, entitled Confessio R:.C:. Fraternitatis written by HSL (a.k.a. Fra. Profundis) and from an AMORC Lodge website from Brazil. 

From Wikipedia we also have an interesting information: "AMORC is said to be the modern day manifestation of the ancient Rose-Croix Order which has its origin in the Ancient Egyptian mystery schools." This information in only backed by the alleged co-founder of AMORC, Mrs. May Banks-Stacey cited in the Rosicrucian Beacon (UK). (Rebisse, Christian 2005, pp.10)

In the modern Confessio, HSL tells his students that the contact with the old Rosicrucians in Europe was the result of his extensive psychic and bibliographical research which led him to contact an esoteric bookshop in Paris asking for references and contact with some remaining representatives of the old Roscrucians in the continental Europe. The bookshop owner, who was member of a Masonic body related to the Rosicrucians, gave to him an address to contact a Rosicrucian member in Toulouse. 

Quoting Rebisse: “In the hope of obtaining more information about Rosicrucianism in France, he (HSL) decided to write to a bookshop owner in Paris whose catalog he possessed. We have not been able to identify the person in question, who is also described as being an editor-in-chief of a newspaper. It was possibly Henri Durville’s bookshop, which served as a library and publication society at the same time and was located at 23 Rue Saint-Merri in the 4th Arrondisement of Paris. (…) Whatever the identity of this bookshop to which Harvey Spencer Lewis wrote, he soon received this reply:

"If you were to come to France, and if it would not be an inconvenience for you to call at the studio of M…., professor of languages, residing at …..Boulevard Saint-Germain, he might be able to tell you something about the society about which you are inquiring. It would be a good idea to show him this letter. Certainly, a letter telling him of your arrival, with the date and name of your ship, would be courteous." (HSL, 1916, pp.12-27).

The encounter with the bookshop owner was described in detail in the HSL "Peregrine Journey to the East". Remisse's article gives us some insights about the time, circumstances and state of the Rosicrucian Order in France at that time. In the first paragraphs of his article he pictured the difficulties HSL had to find the proper contact with the Order representatives to be initiated. For instance, he started to ask: "Who did he have to contact? He (HSL) had no idea because the message he had received (in the U.S.A.) merely stated that his contact was a known photographer". (Rebisse, Christian, 2009, pp.2) Finally the author described that HSL "managed to met his contact" in Paris and received the directions he was looking for. 

Also according to Remisse and HSL, the second contact happened in Toulouse, France, on 10th August, 1909. That's the time when AMORC was born. It all started when HSL met the "(...) the Grand Secretary, the Archivist of an old Rosicrucian Order established in Languedoc with only a few initiates." (Cit. pp.2) who directed him "(...) this same day (to) meet the "Grand Master and Imperator" of the Order." (cit pp.3) at the Chateau D'Issues, close to Toulouse.
Today's view of the Chateau D'Issues

Arriving at an unspecified location passing the city of Tolosa, HSL "(...) was met by Count Raynaud E. de Bellcastle-Ligne, a man of seventy eight years of age who lived as a caretaker of this property with his wife and daughter." (...) 
AMORC vs George L. Smith and E. E. Thomas (1933)

At this point I would like to comment on the use of that person to provide credentials to AMORC. In the exhibit above, used in the court of Law, Count Raynaud is shown as a legate of AMORC in France, but how could that be if he was 78 years old in 1909 and the document above was published in 1933, almost 30 years later? Did Mr Raynoud survived that long (78+30=98 years old) or the "Count" was included in the list as a mere figure to give support to AMORC claims? If that was the case, what about the other AMORC "Legates" in the foreign countries?
Let's return to Remisse accountings... "There he invited Harvey Spencer Lewis to enter into what remained of an old Rosicrucian lodge  (...)"

My notes: Why HSL didn't ask the Count to show him his R+C credentials? Those credentials also would be an important document to prove his contact wit an authentic branch of the Rosicrucian Tradition. Does the AMORC Museum at San Jose (USA) has a copy of such important document? If so, why it is not part of the Rosicrucian Manual exhibit of historical documents?

"(...) He pointed out that his father was the last presiding officer of the temple which had not been used for more than sixty years. The visit of the chateau continued until the Count stopped before a metal door to tell his visitor he had to now cross three successive chambers,"alone with God and his Master." (...) Finally, he reached the third room where the Count was waiting for him. The latter explained that the room no longer had the ornaments and accessories it once accommodated and that consequently, he would have to adapt the initiation ceremony. He conducted it at different points of the chamber and communicated to him the secret meaning of the ritual. (...) A while later, Raynaud E. de Bellcastle-Ligne introduced him to three men of advanced years whose relatives as well as themselves had been members of the Rosicrucian Order.

My notes: Why these old members didn't participate in the initiation ceremony as initiation officers? They didn't know the tradition any more?
At the close of that the Count placed a cross with a rose around Lewis' neck. He declared to him that he was now authorised to establish the Order in America. After this ceremony, one of the members present authorised him to consult a book which contained the major laws and principles of the Order. He also allowed him to copy the symbols and diagrams of various Rosicrucian ceremonies. From a trunk placed in the centre of the room, the Count took some symbolic aprons, an altar cloth and various archival documents so that the new initiate could take notes of the symbols belonging to the various degrees of the Order. He was then given the necessary information for introducing Rosicrucianism in America." (cit. pp.5-6)

My notes: Important to notice that HSL was initiated at this time without any formal esoteric training in the Rosicrucian Tradition and "authorized" to stablish a new branch of the Rosicrucian Order in the USA. Later, in HSL own writings in the Master Monographs (MM) he explained that in the early years he was studying the Rosicrucian teaching at the same time he was converting them into the MM for the students in America. 

From the HSL "Confessio", Manifest IV, section "Instructions for the Imperator", it says: "First: The Order in France was inactive since 1880, with a fraction of thousand souls of the European Order, without secret chief or Imperator, the European Order was unable to issue any charter or document (...)" "Third: That in other countries there was thousands of men and women that were born from Rosicrucian parents and living according to the principles and meeting in small groups to study under the various denominations, however not organised in regular Lodges since the end of the CRC's 108 cycle." (HSL , 1918, Manifest IV, pp.12)"
HSL also mentioned that returning to America, he (HSL) held many private sessions with men and women who had been initiated into the Order in France and India and other lands, who formed with him the first foundation committee. Together they labored for six years so that in the seventh year of preparation they could announce to the American public the reestablishment of the Rosicrucian Order. The first official manifesto was warmly greeted by a gathering of over three hundred prominent students of the ancient Rosicrucian teachings who examined the official papers, seals and warrants possessed by Imperator Lewis, and formed the first American Council of the Order. 

My Notes: Interesting to noticed that in the quote above, was said that the French Initiator only allowed HSL to copy references, symbols and documents - not having the actual documents in his possession (not even a charter could be provided). Please recall the quote above The Order in France was inactive since 1880, with a fraction of thousand souls of the European Order, without secret chief or Imperator, the European Order was unable to issue any charter or document (...)". So what official papers were examined during the ceremony for the formation of the American Council?

"A report of that session was sent to France, to the body of men who undertook the burden of supporting the foundation work in America, and a few months later the Grand Council of the Ordre Rose Croix of France recognized the Imperator for the Order in America. "

My Notes: Recalling the statements above accounting to the poor conditions of the remaing members (or descendants of) the Rosicrucian Order in the old continental Europe, how it was possible, in 6 years passed, to have a Grand Council of the Ordre Rose Croix of France or even an International Council of the Order in existance? Did HSL pushed too much in grandeur to create an image of a well stablished Order in Europe to back up his claims for AMORC autenticity and origins?

"Thereafter further organization meetings were held until a point was reached when two officials of the International Council of the Order visited America, approved of the organization as established here, and, upon their report to the International Convention in Europe, the American Order was made an independent Jurisdiction coming directly under the guidance of the International Council of the Order instead of under the sponsorship of the French Jurisdiction. And this gave the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) of North America a representation in the International Council, in its National and International Conventions and Congresses, and made the American AMORC a part of the A.M.O.R.C. of the world. Therefore, the A.M.O.R.C. is today the ONLY Rosicrucian movement in America having such authority and connections." (HSL, 1937, pp.4)" 

"Optimized" Rosicrucian Transmissions

As I have experienced other initiatic transmission systems, from the East and West, I am able to compare what is being done in AMORC Pronous and Lodges and made some comparisons drawing some conclusions.

I would like to start with the subject of Initiations. Initiations were created by esoteric schools or orders in order to pass from Master to Disciple the link with Egregore current and thus the initiatic lineage. After higher levels of training the student is anointed with the privilege to perform or be part of a initiatic ritual; thus ready for the transmission of the initiatic lineage. That's what is Traditional in the East and West. However, AMORC teach its students that "Initiation", as the word mean, it is only an overview about the principles that the student will learn by study and practice in each Degree. There is no mention whatsoever about "initiatic transmissions". 

Therefore, what we see as happening with AMORC members of Pronous and Lodges (Temples) is that members from any degree are called to be part of the "Ritualistic Team", training to perform a ritualistic drama for the students - to convey an emotional and engaging atmosphere leading the student to a psychic (Astral) initiation. Also the Lodge's "Master" title can be given to members at any degree requiring only their interest in participating in the corpus of activities and its responsibilities. Seems that even though there are sincere members willing to sacrifice their family time doing service to the Order they are not receiving enough esoteric training to perform their duties, particularly in accordance with the Western Esoteric Tradition.

As I have mentioned in another 
post in this blogger, AMORC does not have a systematic preparation for the Adept, the only ones that are Traditionally entitled to pass initiation and use the Master title.

Another aspect of the esoteric transmission that was suppressed in the AMORC system was the ability of an advanced student to receive the office of an Initiator. That was removed from AMORC as well from TMO as we can from the quote below.

"Ralph Maxwell Lewis [1902-1987], succeeded his father as Imperator and developed AMORC into the vast modern organisation it is today. He was the real brain behind the mail-lesson system and home sanctum initiations. Ralph preferred that the order did not work with theurgy, and removed every trace that tasted of «old occultism». Instead, the attention was laid upon mysticism, as well as psychological and metaphysical approaches to the esoteric. AMORCs teachings have a scientific style, with practical experiments and instructions. Their initiation rituals seems very influenced by Masonry, especially the Rite of Memphis-Mishaim. The HSL left the original 13th degree ('Imperators initiation') ritual out of the order, and replaced it with an «Imperators averment» and a general honorary 13th degree." (Currently replaced by a separate level of study called Ordo Summum Bonvm) (Affectator, Frater Melchior, F.R.C., 1997)

Also another interesting information was passed by Rebisse regarding the suppression of initiatic transmissions : Footnote 15. On 23 July 1913, Eugène Dupré wrote a long letter to Harvey Spencer Lewis. This document was discovered in Ralph Maxwell Lewis’ house in 1996 after his wife’s death. The tone of this letter is familiar and suggests that the two had already established a connection some time earlier. In the letter, Dupré gives Harvey Spencer Lewis all the necessary information to establish a Martinist lodge in the USA. He attached the various degrees of the Order and certificates of the Martinist S.I. and Free Initiator degree. It also tells us that he was given the mystical name Moshea (or Hoshea) and the number “DPR-D24A”. No doubt, because of World War I, Harvey Spencer Lewis could not implement the plan. It was only at the time of the FUDOSI in 1934 that he was able to establish the Martinist Order within the Rosicrucian Order.” (Rebisse, 2005, pp.18)

Questions, Questions, Questions...

The existence of French Jurisdiction of an International Rosicrucian Order - How is it possible that a French "Jurisdiction" was still working if the lodges themselves are not but remains of a 60 years of inactivity; and that "The Order in France was inactive since 1880"? And about a "Grand Council of the Ordre Rose Croix of France" in that context? Why such discrepancy between the original HSL account in his "Confessio" and later articles published in The Rosicrucian? 
b) The existence of an International Council of the Rosicrucian Order - If there was a International Council of the Rosicrucian Order, which would be the proper authority to issue a charter of authorization for the Americas, why HSL received such an authorisation from and old and inactive Lodge? Why those members have such authority if an higher council was active? So why the old Rosicrucians of Toulouse have told HSL just the opposite: "That in other countries there was thousands of men and women that were born from Rosicrucian parents and living according to the principles and meeting in small groups to study under the various denominations, however not organised in regular Lodges since the end of the CRC's 108 cycle ."? 

Also Rebisse questioned in his referred article that (...) Why did his contacts not recommend that he enter into communication with Joséphin Péladin and Papus, who, at the time, were well known for their Rosicrucian activities? In fact, in June 1908, the previous year, Papus had presided over a Spiritualist Congress that gathered more than seventeen initiatic organisations together. However, this important event couldn’t hide the crisis facing the initiatic groups directed by Papus, particularly the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. Since the death of Stanislas de Guaïta in 1897, this group had actually been inactive. During the same year, Péladin placed the Order of the Rose-Croix, the Temple and the Grail into dormancy. So it is understandable why Harvey Spencer Lewis had not been pointed towards these organisations, but rather, as we shall see, towards the region where they had their origins: Toulouse." (Rebisse, 2005, pp.14). As we noticed in that quote, there is no mention about an established Rosicrucian infrastructure, but individuals who are involved with the Rosicrucian Tradition.

C) The existence of International Conventions and Congresses of the Rosicrucian Order in Europe ???

D) Returning to America, he (HSL) held many private sessions with men and women who had been initiated into the Order in France and India and other lands - If was so hard to find a dying brethren in France, how he managed to find others in India and other lands?


That kind of situation was confirmed in the beginning of the last Century by HSL himself when he told us about the circumstances of his initiation in a nearly dead branch of the Rosicrucians in France in 1909. Also around 1934, HSL gives us another account of the same situation when forming the F.U.D.O.S.I. So the organization of the Rosicrucian Order doesn't shown any signs of unity or strong management until AMORC was founded.

More info at: 


  • AMORC vs George L. Smith and E. E. Thomas (1933), source:
  • Lewis, H. Spencer (1918), Confessio R:.C:. Fraternitatis, published by Rosicrucian Order AMORC. 
  • Lewis, H. Spencer (1916), A Pilgrim’s Journey to the East” and “I Journeyed to the Eastern Gate”, The American Rosae Crucis, May 1916.
  • Lewis, H. Spencer (1937), Rosicrucian Manual, published by Rosicrucian Order AMORC.
  • Rebisse, Christian (2005) - "Rosicrucian History, From Its Origins to the Present", Part 16: "Journey to the East". Rosicrucian Beacon (UK) June 2005.
  • Rebisse, Christian (2009), A Rosicrucian Initiation in Toulouse, 1909 The Rosicrucian, No.37 August, AMORC publishing. 
  • Affectator, Frater Melchior, (F.R.C.1997) web source: Manifestations of the Neo-Rosicrucian Current.


Top Image Source: AMORC International AMORC International website. 


  • 12/03/2014 - Post creation.
  • 12/04/2014 - Added the Summary section linked to headings.
  • 06/03/2014 - Changed A.M.O.R.C. Origins section heading to Rosicrucian Origins also adding link to the S.R.I.A. (America) and links to related Rosicrucian authors, part of the Rosicrucian history. Also added info link about Emile Dantinne.


  1. I would like to suggest as a further studies into the Rosicrucian Metaphysics, my ebook, which is my extended research intot the subject:

  2. Does not HSL admit in the Illuminati degree that the initiation was 'rare'? That is, in a dream or vision?

    In this case he was a Rosicrucian because he dreamt he had become one.

    1. The Higher degrees were all performed in a special chamber that existed in R+C park San Jose.
      When I had mine only a very few people were there and as i recall several top dignitaries.
      Now I am not at liberty to say all that went on and am a bit shocked that you are posting what you post on line.

    2. Dear Frater Rosae Crucis09, I appreciated your comment very much. That's an entire new information about AMORC initiations for the high degrees. The existence of an special chamber for higher initiations in the R+C Park at San Jose was never disclosed to high degree members before. Why did you have such a privilege? Have engaged yourself in any special study program? How did you were invited to be there? Have you applied for that? How did you know that such chamber ever existed? I believe that a great number of high degree students would like to here those answers from you. Please share.

    3. Also you do not need to shocked about what I posted since it consists in general information only and do not breach any of my AMORC vows. Furthermore you know that I am speaking the truth in this post. However my intention is to expose the facts and help other students to understand what is really going on.

    4. Dear Frater, reading your comments again, I would like to comment also on the quote "The Higher degrees were all performed in a special chamber that existed in R+C park San Jose." May be we are not in the same page. What "higher degrees" are you talking about? May I was assuming that higher degrees was ment by the 10th to the 12th degrees, which currently have Temple Lodge initiations and personal (or self) initiations. In that context your statement is not right as affirming that "The Higher degrees were all performed in a special chamber that existed in R+C park San Jose." unless you are referring to other "higher degrees" apart for the current ones. Could you clarify your comments allowing us to clearly understand your point?

    5. Dear Frater Rosae Crucis09, since your first comment at the beginning of this month (March/2016) and after my replays asking you to clarify your bold statement about the existence of a initiation chamber in San Jose for the High Degree, i might conclude that your silence is an acknowledgement that such affirmation wasn't true. Am I right?

  3. Anonymous, you are totally right. If we imagine something clear enough it might become real to us. Also the actual initiation only happens in the Astral plane, except if are in the presence of a Master. However, the most important initiation of all is the contact with our Higher Self which will lead us to into the Path.

  4. Matthew Banick - reposted from Google+ (I hope you wouldn't mind):
    Hi Carlos, interesting article. I was not aware of HSL's dubious claims, albeit I've had my suspicions. Particularly, after learning about some of the internal conflict that arose in the 90's. I was never an amorc member but acquired the neophyte monograph series many years ago and always enjoyed reading through them. This article shed a lot of light on the organization that was previously entirely shrouded in mystery to me.

    1. Hi Matthew, thanks for your comments. HSL was a very controversial individual. At same time he was a sincere seeker of higher knowledge he left his mark as an entrepreneur and marketing expert. He was able to amasse a lot of esoteric material for his school (AMORC) as well as with his son RML (also his successor) they developed a successful business model for a esoteric Templar and Correspondence Course system equal to none until today.
      And yes, the lessons or Master Monographs they created were very interesting and seductive with the ability to keep their students guessing what's next for life...