The Elder Brothers of the Rose+Cross, also known as FAR+C, is one of the oldest hermetic brotherhoods existent today. From its founding in 1317 AD up to now, it has passed down its Alchemical tradition to a select elite of students.
The regulation of the Order still pays homage to Saladin and the Muslim brothers of old. It was in the Bayt al Hikmah (House of Wisdom) and the Arab world that the founders of the Order studied Alchemy. At the time of persecution of the Templars in 1314, a small group of Knights managed to escape to England with the aim of returning to France once the political climate would improve. So they did and in 1317 they founded a new Order: The Elder Brothers of the Rose+Cross. This was no military Order but one strictly dedicated to transferring the secrets of alchemy and those of the path to the Philosopher’s Stone. In the deepest of secrecy, the Elder Brothers continue their work to this day. By regulation, the group is limited to a maximum of 33 members, a small elite of the most dedicated students of Alchemy. In contrast with many modern day Rosicrucian Orders, the Elder Brothers do not limit their study to ‘spiritual alchemy’ but practice alchemy both in the Lab and in the Oratory.