A Brief Summary of his life and work
Blanchard (1878-1953) was, between the two World Wars the Sovereign Grand
Master of the Martinist Order and Synarchy, under the initiatic name of Paul
Yesir. In addition he was an important functionary of the government administration,
rising to become head of the general secretariat for the Members of Parliament
of France. He was a close collaborator of Papus, with whom he organised the
Spiritualist Congress of June 1908. For a short time linked with Guenon, he
dissolved this alliance after the affair of the "Ordre of the Temple
Renove". Lastly he was a disciple and great admirer of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre.
According to Jean Mallinger (Sar Elgim), " his knowledge of magnetism,
and the sacred literature of Ancient Egypt were remarkable".
After the First World War, Blanchard did not recognize the Grand Mastership
of Jean Bricaud as the head of Martinism, and with some old members of the
first Supreme Council, founded his own Martinist Order and Synarchy, on the
3rd January 1921. In the absence of well established rules regarding the nomination
or succession of a Grand Master (the Martinist order having been founded by
Papus himself), it is impossible to say whether Bricaud or Blanchard was the
legitimate Grand Master. There were other differences that existed between
the two Martinist Orders. Bricaud who tended to place himself in the tradition
of the Elect Cohens and Pasqually and Willermoz, reserved entry to his order
to men who also had to be Master Masons, thereby continuing the attempts by
Teder to link Martinism with Freemasonry. Blanchard remained a practitioner
of esoteric syncretism as practiced by Papus, and in a similar manner allowed
women to join and did not require the Masonic qualification. Blanchard linked
himself with Saint-Yves d'Alveydre: and he therefore added to the title of
his order the epithet "Synarchy". No doubt, that by working at the
secretariat of the Members of Parliament, he aspired to influence, the course
of political events by his occult activities, and by disseminating the ideals
Victor Blanchard was also a Mason in the Grand Orient of France were he was
a member of the Grand College of Rites as well as being a dignitary in a number
of other occult orders: " L'Eglise Gnostique Universelle" of Bricaud,
(under the name of Tau Targelius) and "L'Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix",
both organisations being directed by Lucien Mauchel (known as Chamuel - who
passed away in 1936). One should note that both these organisations are distinct
from "L'Eglise Gnostique Catholique " and "L'Ordre de la Rose
Croix Kabbalistique et Gnostique" which were directed by Bricaud then
Chevillon. Victor Blanchard was also a member of the Order of the Lily and
the Eagle ( who in their higher degrees convey the initiation of the Rose-Croix
of the Orient) where he was Commander from 1918, the Polaire Brotherhood of
which he was president from 1933, and the Pythagorean Order in which, thanks
to the links created by the FUDOSI, he obtained the fourth and last degree:
"Archonte of the Arts and Sciences '. He was one of the most enthusiastic
founders of the FUDOSI, which allowed him to continue the international action
he commenced with Papus in June 1908, and conferred a new legitimacy with
regard to Chevillon, who as Bricaud's successor he did not acknowledge. He
was one of the three Imperators appointed in 1934 with special jurisdiction
over Martinism and the countries of the East (Sar Hieronymous being Imperator
for Europe, and Sar Alden being Imperator for the USA). Augustin Chaboseau
replaced him as Imperator in 1939.
BLANCHARD vs. BRICAUD
Jean Bricaud consecrated Victor Blanchard as Bishop on 5th May 1920. In spite
of this consecration Blanchard" attitude to Bricaud soon became violently
hostile, judging by the following passage by Robert Ambelain (Le Martinisme
1946,p150) where one also finds elements which undermine Jean Bricaud's legitimacy
of transmission from Teder, "who made fun of Bricaud, "disciple
of Vintras" and reproached him for having created the Church of Carmel
of Elias, and the Johannite Church, (well before the Neo-Gnostic Catholic
Church) and for "play acting the priest."
"Regarding Bricaud's alleged rights to Grand Mastership of the Martinist
Order there are also several witnesses I can remember. One of the witnesses
is still living here in Paris (Tr. Note - this was in 1946). Brother Nicholas
Choumitsky (from whom Ambelain received the Russian filiation), of an Old
Russian Martinist family
pupil and disciple of Charles Barlet has told
me: I returned to France in 1919. Teder had died. I asked Chacornac Snr, who
was therefore the Grand Master of the Martinist Order, and he answered: It
is Blanchard. I therefore made contact with Blanchard. A meeting was organised
between Bricaud and Blanchard. It took place in a café.
Blanchard arrived with some members of his Supreme Council. Bricaud arrived
alone, bringing with him a document, framed in glass, which claimed that Teder
had nominated him as his successor. Blanchard became violently angry, and
after examination of the document, the unanimous opinion was that it was not
authentic. Bricaud left the impression on those attending of being superficial
and lacking any depth. I then turned to Charles Barlet and asked him who was
the true successor of Teder. He smiled and said that Martinism was "a
circle whose circumference was everywhere and the centre nowhere." He
intended by this that it did not have a Grand Master. Afterwards Madame Detre
(Teder's wife) told me that her husband could not have designated a successor
since wasn't at all intending to die! According to her he died following a
In any case a document remains which places Bricaud's succession in a strange
position. It is mainly to advise the dignitaries of the Order Martiniste of
Teder's death. The original document still exists in the Archives of the Order
Martiniste. It is signed Jean Bricaud 33 90 95 President of the Supreme Council
and Grand Master General of the Order. It is published so the dignitaries
of the Order were advised of the death of Teder, and that Bricaud had referred
to himself as Grand Master General in his place, they were therefore not consulted.
There was none amongst them who had elected Bricaud to the Grand Mastership.
And since Teder had not nominated anyone, as can be seen, the result was a
little too immediate.. The Grand Councils of Italy, Spain, and of Great Britain,
cut off their relations with the Supreme Council of Lyons. A great number
of French Martinists joined Blanchard and his Martinist Order and Synarchy,
others remained isolated and rejoined Augustin Chaboseau's Traditional Martinist
Order, twelve years later.
OPENING ADDRESS TO THE MASONIC AND SPIRITUALIST CONGRESS IN 1908
Victor Blanchard was the secretary general of the Masonic and Spiritualist
Congress in 1908. In his opening discourse he referred to it as "the
first autonomous Congress of Occultism " and expressed in conclusion
the hope of seeing all the French Masonic Rites coming to reinforce "
the army of knights of Christian idealism."
Here is a passage which exemplifies his thought:
"The doctrine which now excites your curiosity so much is not new, whatever
the critics of the history of philosophy may say.
If we refer to purely historical documents, it is in the most famous Sanctuaries
of India and Egypt - inheritors of the traditional Wisdom of the black races,
Atlantis and Lemuria, that OCCULT SCIENCE was born.
From there esotericism spread to China, Iran, Chaldea, Palestine, Greece,
Rome, the Gallic countries, Germany and all over the face of the Earth.
Let us not forget that this philosophy, at once human and divine powerfully
inspired all of the founders of the great ancient religions, among them Ram
or Lam, Confucius, Krishna, Zoroaster, MOSES, and Buddha. It is from it that
that the celebrated legislators of passed ages drew their wisest institutions.
It is from this sublime source, that the majority of poets, philosophers and
sages of antiquity and of modern times drew the best part of their great and
brilliant ideas. One rediscovers it hidden beneath the literal text of all
the Holy Scriptures of the East and West, in the parables of Jesus, right
up to the Epistles of St Paul. It was held by certain fathers of the Church,
the Gnostics, Troubadours, Trouveres, Alchemists, heads of medieval guilds,
and the intellectual elite of the Templars, who having escaped torture and
bloodshed, transmitted it later through the intermediaries of the Rose-Croix,
Freemasons, and Martinists.
HERMETICISM is the scientific, philosophic, religious and social synthesis
of the past, present and will be, without doubt, that of the future.
The theologian, philosopher, the savant, doctor, moralist or sociologist should
make the effort to study occultism where alone they will find together with
the best solutions to theological, cosmological, anthropological and sociological
enigmas, as well as the elements which will revivify their current knowledge,
and how to regenerate the human body and soul and of the whole of society.
The historian, author and artist will also profit from these slightly abstract
studies. The first will discover the explanation of many obscure and troubling
facts; the second will easily penetrate the higher sense of apparently absurd
ancient myths and eastern fables, and will be better able to decipher the
mysteries of the human soul. The third will be able to contemplate without
tiring, the different forms which reveal the Supreme Beauty in this world
as in the other planes of the manifested Universe, and consequently will be
able to give them more adequate physical expression than those which have
been produced before.
As for those who are tormented by the deeply anguishing problem of life after
death, they will be soon understand through exposure to our doctrines, we
hope, the rational certitude through experience of the immortality of their
conscious and spiritual principle, they will understand that Divinity wants
the best for all its creatures, and that the Heaven, Purgatory and Hell of
the naïve theologians are nothing more than the physical and moral situations
in which our soul finds itself throughout the course of its eternal career
. They will know that Reincarnation, taught in the ancient mystery schools,
just as it was in the original Christian Church, and in modern initiations
is one of the multiple means employed by the Sovereign Bounty (or Supreme
Good), in order to hasten the animical, intellectual and spiritual evolution
of each one of us. They will see that man works out unceasingly through the
conditions, which must preside over successive lives in time and space. They
will recognize that human beings are all united to each other not only in
actions, but also in words and above all in thought. It is by these means
that they will prepare consciously the Coming on Earth of the True Fraternity
and of the Reign of the Holy Spirit, or of Science allied to Faith, of Reason
united to Intuition, a lasting and celestial fusion which the Feast of Pentecost
symbolizes so well."
( Note: The Feast of Pentecost, in 1908, fell on 7th June, the opening day
of the Congress.)
BLANCHARD, THE FUDOSI AND THE POLAIRES
The Polaire Brotherhood is not generally known in the English speaking world
but since this article is about Victor Blanchard ( who was its president from
1933) it is appropriate that we present some basic information regarding its
origins, beliefs and activities.
According to the legend of its foundation, the Polaire Brotherhood had its
origin in the meeting between Mario Fille, and the mysterious hermit Father
Julian in 1908 in the hills north of Rome. Father Julian gave Mario Fille
a sheaf of old parchments which included a divinatory method called "the
oracle of the astral force ", to which he at first gave little interest
because the method was painstaking and lengthy. Twelve years later he made
the acquaintance in Egypt of his fellow countryman and musician Cesare Accomani,
who became very enthusiastic for this method founded on numerological principles.
The method consisted of phrasing one's question in Italian, adding one's name
and the maiden name of one's mother, turning them into numbers and making
with them certain mathematical operations. After several hours work a series
of numbers emerged and these were retranslated into letters giving a cogent
and grammatically correct answer to one's question. The Oracle never failed
to behave with perfect reliability, although the answers were sometimes in
English or German. Fille was obedient to Father Julian's command - he alone
possessed the key to its use. They both experimented with the oracle and noted
its efficacious powers and that it allowed them to enter into communication
with the "Esoteric Rosicrucian Centre in the Himalayas", directed
by the "Three Supreme Sages" or the "Little Lights of the Orient"
who proposed to prepare them for "the coming of the Spirit under the
sign of the Rose and Cross". This was in response to one of the first
questions posed to the Oracle - "Who are you?" In 1929 the oracle
gave them the mission of of reconstituting the Polaire Fraternity whose "members
were dispersed in the 15th century through hatred of the True Light"
and indicated to them that the site of the re-establishment would be Paris.
In 1930 the manifesto of the Polaires "Asia Mysteriosa" signed by
Zam Bhotiva (Accomani's pseudonym) was published and a temple was installed
at 36 Junot Avenue in Montmartre.
Father Julian disappeared in 1908, but had continued to deliver his messages
through the intermediary of the oracle; and through it revealed he was an
emissary of the Great White Lodge of the Himalayas. Then on the 8th April
1930 Father Julian made his last communication and announced his imminent
death. The first Polaire Bulletin appeared on 9th May 1930, which was going
to convey the messages of Father Julian in the most modern manner. In a stunning
coincidence, the Neapolitan occultist Giulano Kremmerz (whose first name is
the Italian form of the name Julian) founder of the Fraternity of the Myriam,
who never until now has been cited in relation to the Polaires fell into a
coma on 7th May 1930 and died on the 16th May 1930, after having predicted
his own death.
Accomani and Fille associated themselves with many influential personalities
such as the journalists Ferdinand Divoire and Jean Dorsenne, the writers Jean
Marques-Riviere and Maurice Magre and the synarchic occultists Jeanne Canudo,
Vivian du Mas and Victor Blanchard. Rene Guenon also associated himself for
a short time in their enterprise. One also finds the names of some other high
initiates of the Fraternity: Henri Meslin du Champigny (Gnostic Bishop under
the name Tau Harmonius), Mgr Lesetre (Roman Catholic Bishop), Prince You-Kantor
of Cambodia, Jean Chaboseau (son of Augustin Chaboseau).
If the Polaires thought of themselves as recipients of the Boreal tradition
of Thule, and this is where they derived their name, in what manner was it
connected to a "Polar" tradition and what was its mission: e.g.
Jean Marques-Riviere the journalist in his forward to "Asia Mysteriosa
" mentions that both Emmanuel Swedenborg and the early 19th century visionary
Catherine Emmerich had believed in a Spiritual center in Tibet or Tartary
" This center has as its mission or rather its reason for existence ,
the direction of the spiritual activities of the Earth".
The Bulletin of the Polaires, 9th June 1930 explains:
"The Polaires take this name because from all time the Sacred Mountain,
that is the symbolic location of the Initiatic Centres, has always been qualified
by different traditions as "Polar". And it may very well be that
this Mountain was once really Polar, in the geographical sense of the word,
since it is stated everywhere that the Boreal Tradition (or Primordial Tradition,
source of all traditions) originally had its seat in the Hyperborean regions.
The ceremonies were particularly stunning, the adepts met in hooded robes.
The inner history of the Fraternity is little known - their archives having
been confiscated by the Nazis. It seems there were many problems in discovering
the Grand Master whom the oracle announced was to soon arrive. Following a
new announcement from the oracle some Polaires rushed to Montsegur and Lordat
where they excavated vainly to find the Grail and the Albigensian Treasure.
The Fraternity was a member of the FUDOSI in 1937 and 1938 and it was in its
temple in avenue Junot that the Convent of August 1937 took place.
The Polaires tried to protect France using their magnetic powers but it seems
the Second World War destroyed all their efforts and the Fraternity seems
not have survived.
In 1939 Victor Blanchard was expelled from the FUDOSI, according to Jean Mallinger.
The reason cited is that on 14th July 1938 he auto-consecrated himself as
the Universal Grand Master of the Rose-Croix and of all the initiatic orders
of the entire world. He sent a proclamation to each Grand Master of the Federation,
which requested allegiance, and recognition of his new dignity. As a result
some members also left the Martinist Order and Synarchy (amongst them George
Lagreze (Sar Mikael) and Jeanne Guesdon (Sar Puritia). Many of them joined
Augustin Chaboseau's Traditional Martinist Order. He was also replaced in
all of the other high offices he held. Only the Polaires and the Martinist
Order and Synarchy remained loyal to him. However he was later reconciled
with the FUDOSI at the convent of 1946, but was not re-appointed as Imperator.
Maconnnerie Egyptienne, Rose-Croix et Neo Chevalerie: Gerard Galtier, Ed du
L'Occultisme en France: L'Eglise Gnostique; Rene Le Forestier, Arche Milano
Arktos the Polar Myth: Joscelyn Godwin, Thames and Hudson 1993