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D. Rolling Kearney


Initiation Into The Egyptian Mysteries

The following comes from a book called A History of Secret Societies, first published in 1961 and authored by Arkon Daraul. As it turns out, this Arkon Daraul is strongly suspected to be a pseudonym of Idries Shah 3, a noted author and historian who focused primarily on Sufi traditions. This conclusion is reached because: Shah used a number of pseudonyms 4, an author by the name of Arkon Daraul has never published any other known books and there is no information available about his identity, the writing style of this book closely matches that of Shah’s, and Shah actually quotes from this book in a work that he published only three years later.

In this part of the book, Shah does an admirable job of introducing and summarizing the content of a German document published in 1785, which details the procedures of an ancient Egyptian initiation, called the Crata Repoa. A copy of this document translated in English is provided in the supporting material 5 (emphasis added):

“The most detailed account on what was said to be the seven highest degrees of secret Egyptian initiation was first published in Germany in the eighteenth century. This strange and very exhaustive document combines many elements from the ancient mysteries…. It seems to come from Greek sources, because many of the words used are Greek; and it could well be that we have here the modern beginnings of an attempted revival of ancient mysteries.

“Whatever it is, it is not one of those fanciful and spurious ones which used to be printed merely to attract the credulous: because it is plausible in containing the sort of material which might well have formed the content of an initiation and mind-conditioning system.

“The earliest version known is in the form of an anonymous pamphlet (probably not intended for public sale) of thirty-odd pages, which was printed in 1785. It was republished in a French translation thirty years later, purporting to be the ritual of the Master degree in Freemasonry. The French editor claims that it is a composite ritual, derived from the works of some fifteen Greek and Roman writers.

“This degree, we are told, was open to Egyptian kings and priests alone; and only those specially recommended by an initiate could enter it. The usual procedure was that the Pharaoh himself introduced the candidate to the priests. By them he sent from Heliopolis [Ed. note: which means “City of the Sun”] to the Memphis priests; from there he went to Thebes. He was circumcised, forbidden to eat pulse [i.e. legumes, such as peas or beans] or fish; and generally had to abstain from wine.

“He was put for several months in an underground cave, and asked to write down his reflections. When he had done this, he was led to a



“Idries Shah (16 June 1924 — 23 November 1996) was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies. Born in India, the descendant of a family of Afghan nobles, Shah grew up mainly in England. His early writings centered on magic and witchcraft…. His most seminal work was The Sufis, which appeared in 1964 and was well received internationally…. In his writings, Shah presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam.”


“Shah has conceded his own recourse to pen names (v. "Reflections," p. 88), without divulging details; many of his disciples emulate him. Given this obfuscation, it is problematic which of the score or more queerly named authors stylistically and thematically assignable to the ‘Shah-School’ (e.g. Omar Michael Burke Ph. D., Arkon Daraul, Rafael Lefort, Hadrat B.M. Dervish and so on) have independent physical existence? Pending investigation, it perhaps suffices that none show a scintilla of independent philosophical existence.” from Neo-Sufism: The Case of Idries Shah, by James Moore


CRATA REPOA Or Initiations into the ancient, secret society of the Egyptian Priests by Nick Farrell

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