The Occult Lodge: Part Three

The Elu Kohen

by Midnight Freemason Contributor 
Bro. James E. Frey 32° KT, ROS

Martinez de Pascually
As the high degrees developed, one of the first occult orders to develop out of Masonry was the illustrious and secretive Orde Chevelier Macons Elus Cohen de L’Univers or Order of Knight-Masons Elect Priests of the Universe, more commonly referred to as the Elus Cohen. The Elus Cohen is one of the most serious and prominent of occult societies, given its deeply rooted occult practices as being the active role in the redemption of humanity from its fallen state. Usually reserved for Gnostic Clergy, the Elus Cohen is the inner order for most Martinist streams and teaches advanced forms of ceremonial magic. Martinez de Pascually was the founder the Elus Cohen.and was born in Grenoble, France in 1709. His father had received a Masonic patent from Charles Stuart “King of Scotland, Ireland and England, dated 20th May 1738 and granting him as "Deputy Grand Master the power to erect temples to the glory of the Grand Architect”. This gave him powers as a Deputy Grand Master with the power to establish lodges, and this power was transferred to his son upon his death.

At the age of 28, Martinez was a Master Mason and upon his Father’s death he received this charter and thus formed the Elus Cohen in 1765. This Order admitted only Freemasons, but practiced mystical medieval rites involving angels and archangels. These heavily esoteric initiations echoed a Catholic form of ritual and prayer, as well as a use of the psalms as mantra meditations. “The higher degrees of the Order taught such practices as the invocation of various spirits, such as the ‘Shem ha-Mephorash’ (שם המפורש ) of the Qabalah, the so-called “divided Name” as derived from Exodus XIV:19-21, celebration of the Equinoxes, and similar highly ritualistic and time-consuming forms of ritual work.” (Kevin Davis, Brothers From Another Mother).

Martinez vision was a working of a great spiritualized movement within the higher ranks of Freemasonry. Martinez formed his spiritual group during the period of the creation of the High Degrees which were being introduced into Freemasonry. Due to the often found resentment of the of the High Degrees by Masonic Authorities Martinez chose to create a “side” organization which would have a more spiritual character than Freemasonry traditionally had. To this organization however, he would only admit Master Masons who had taken the additional Masonic degree of “Elect”. The Order of Élus Cohen was rumored to have nine, ten or eleven degrees divided into three main classes, followed by a secret grade. Each class of degrees correlated to different aspects of Solomon’s Temple.

Elu Cohen Apron
The first class contained the traditional Degrees of Symbolic Masonry plus an additional degree of Grand Elect or Particular Master. The second class contained the Porch Degrees of Apprentice-Cohen, Fellow-Cohen and Master-Cohen. The third class contained the Temple Degrees of Grand Master Élus Cohen, Knight of the East and Commander of the East. The secret doctrine of the Order was based mostly on Martinez’ only book, The Reintegration of Beings, which is a mystical reinterpretation of the Pentateuch. Martinez commentary focused on the purifying diet of the Levites and the importance of the exorcism of planetary energies to rise above the evil found in the individual and collectively in the world.

The secret grade of the Order contained the degree of Réau-Croix, a title inspired by both Masonic and Rosicrucian circles at the time. In this Degree of Réau-Croix, the Initiate is exposed to the spiritual realms through Magical Invocation or Theurgy. The Candidate is taught to draw the Celestial powers into his spiritual aura, by doing so into the earth’s aura as well. The Candidate is taught to interpret certain signs as perceived through auditory and visual manifestations, which the candidate uses to evaluate his own spiritual re-integration into the spirit.

The purpose of the Réau-Croix degree was to perceive the Beatific Vision of the Repairer, Jesus Christ, in response to Magical Evocations in order to repair one’s own fallen state and act as an active participant in the redemption of all humanity to repair the first sin of Adam. Martinez perceived God to be primordial Unity that emanated beings from his own nature. Until Lucifer, who wanted to exercise his own creative power, fell victim to his own faults, which caused Lucifer and his followers to be forever separated from the spirit trapped in the material. To resolve this, God sent man endowed with a state of perfection to work towards the reconciliation of Lucifer. Adam then fell himself and became trapped in the material realm as a physical and mortal being. So it is the spiritual destiny of Mankind to save both himself and the original creation which can be accomplished through the inner perfection with the help of Christ, the eternal repairer.

Through the rites of the Elus Cohen, the initiate is to enter into relations with angelic entities, which are sympathetic to Man’s fallen state, who aid him upon the path to reintegrate his spirit away from the material plane into unity of the spirit. After Pasqually’s death in 1774 the teachings of the Elu Cohen were most certainly doomed to fade into the mists of history. But a fellow by the name of Willermoz desired to preserve the Elus Cohen teachings within the highest degrees of the Régime Ecossais Rectifi (Scottish Rectified Rite), more commonly known as the Chevaliers Bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte (C.B.C.S.) was founded by Willermoz in 1774.


James E Frey 32° classifies himself as a gentleman of the old world, which means he is known to stand in the great forests reciting poetry to fair-haired damsels while wrestling bears for sport. He is a District Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, a Past Sovereign Prince of the of Danville AASR, member of the Oak Lawn York Rite, Medinah Shriners, Royal Order of Scotland, Quram Council Allied Masonic Degrees and initiate of the Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. He is also a guest lecturer on Occultism and Esoteric studies in masonry for the R.E.B.I.S Research Society.


  1. Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685)[c] was king of England, Scotland and Ireland.

  2. Should say dated 1638, Charles I.


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