Brothers Zara and Raum: The Real Story of a Fake Buddhist Rosicrucian Order

In the early 1930s, two young men from Idaho took Buddhist ordination vows in San Francisco from a Japanese Rinzai Zen teacher named Nyogen Senzaki. Soon after, the pair left for an extended tour throughout Asia and were celebrated in the press as pioneering Buddhists, but were actually on their own mission for a mysterious Rosicrucian order with the aim to rectify the world’s religions.

This talk will tell the history of Francis Ormsby, Lewis Colburn, and their group, the Ordo Magiaro. It is a fascinating story of spiritual exploration, international travel, and imposture that included a coup and death by drowning, an affair that led to an international scandal, time in a naval prison, and pioneering treatment for alcoholics.

Speaker Bio:

Philip Deslippe is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara who focuses on metaphysical, Asian, and marginal religious traditions in modern America. He has published in numerous academic journals and popular venues, and edited and introduced The Kybalion: The Definitive Edition for Tarcher/Penguin in 2011.

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day
Tue 18 June 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

£6 - £10 & By Donation

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