An occult organization founded in 1907 by Carl Louis van Grashoff who used the pseudonym Max Heindel. Born in Germany in 1865, he came to America in 1895 and in 1904 was vice president of a Theosophical Society lodge in Los Angeles.
He claimed that during a visit to Europe in 1907 he met a mysterious occult Rosicrucian who took him to a Rose Cross temple on the borders of Germany and Bohemia, where he was initiated. Heindel expounded his version of Rosicrucian teachings, with obvious roots in Theosophy, in his book The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (1909) and established various Fellowship Centers. He also founded the fellowship's magazine Rays from the Rose Cross.
In 1911, the fellowship was established at Mt. Ecclesia, a plot of land in Oceanside, California, to disseminate Rosicrucian philosophy through books, magazines, lectures, and correspondence courses. The Oceanside headquarters now cover a vast estate with stucco temples, a healing department, and a vegetarian restaurant at nearby El Toro Marine base.
Much of Heindel's teachings seem to derive from the lectures he attended of Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in Germany during the 1900s, and Steiner, who saw himself standing in the Rosicrucian tradition, may have been Heindel's mysterious Rosicrucian.
Heindel died in 1919, and his widow Augusta Foss Heindel became leader and director of the Fellowship until her own death in 1938. Another prominent official of the Fellowship during this later period was Manly Palmer Hall.
Heindel, Max. Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. Oceanside, Calif.: Rosicrucian Fellowship, 1937.
Heindel, Mrs. Max [Augusta Foss]. The Birth of the Rosicrucian Fellowship. Oceanside, Calif.: Rosicrucian Fellowship, n.d.
The Rosicrucian Fellowship. http://www.rosicrucian.com/. April 14, 2000.