French occultist, freemason, Rosicrucian, hypnotist and physician.
Date of Birth: 13.06.1865
Country: France

  1. Biography of Papus
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Membership in Occult Organizations
  4. Medical Career
  5. Connections with Russian Imperial Family
  6. Contributions to Occultism
  7. Later Years and Death

Biography of Papus

Early Life and Education

Gerard Encausse, better known by his pseudonym Papus, was a French occultist, Freemason, Rosicrucian, hypnotist, and physician. He was born in La Coruna, Spain, to French chemist Louis Encausse and his Spanish wife. When Papus was 4 years old, his family moved to Paris, where he received a formal education. In his youth, Papus spent a lot of time at the National Library in Paris, studying topics such as Kabbalah, occultism, tarot, magic, alchemy, and the works of Eliphas Levi.


Membership in Occult Organizations

After the establishment of the French Theosophical Society by Helena Blavatsky, Papus became one of its members. However, he did not stay there for long, as he found the focus on Eastern occultism too overwhelming. In 1888, Papus founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose and Cross. That same year, Papus and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the "Library of the Supernatural," and its monthly publication, "L'Initiation," continued until 1914. Papus was also a member of several other secret orders and organizations, such as the Secret Brotherhood of Light and the Golden Dawn.


Medical Career

Despite his mystical interests, Papus was also a successful physician. He studied under French spiritualist doctor Anthelme Nizier Philippe and obtained a traditional education at the University of Paris. In 1894, Papus received his medical degree and later opened a clinic that gained significant recognition.

Connections with Russian Imperial Family

Papus visited Russia at least three times, in 1901, 1905, and 1906, where he served as a physician and occultist to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife. According to legends, in October 1905, Papus was able to summon the spirit of Alexander III, who supposedly prophesied the emperor's death at the hands of revolutionaries. Papus promised to magically prevent the prophecy from coming true and protect Nicholas II until his own death. Indeed, the emperor lost his throne after Papus's demise. Despite his occult activities, Papus was skeptical of Nicholas II's strong inclination towards magic and his reliance on occultism in matters of state. In their correspondence, Papus even warned the emperor about the excessive influence of Rasputin.

Contributions to Occultism

Papus was known for his extensive knowledge of Kabbalah and tarot, which he primarily acquired from the works of Eliphas Levi. One of these works gave Papus his pseudonym, as "Papus" means "physician." In 1891, Papus claimed to be the owner of original works by Martinez Paschalis, also known as de Pasqually, and founded his own Martinist Order. He believed he had the right to organize the Saint-Martin ritual, granted to him by his friend Henri Vicomte de Laage, who claimed his maternal grandfather was accepted into a similar order by Saint-Martin himself. The Martinist Order became Papus's main project and continues to exist today as one of his most enduring legacies.

Later Years and Death

In October 1901, Papus and Jean Carriere published a series of articles in "Echo de Paris" under the pseudonym "Net." These articles attacked Sergei Witte and Pyotr Rachkovsky, hinting at the existence of a mysterious financial syndicate seeking to undermine the Franco-Russian alliance. Papus and Carriere suggested that this syndicate was controlled by Jews. Due to his friendship with Nicholas II and the anti-Semitic nature of the articles, Papus was falsely accused of forging "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." During World War I, Papus joined the French medical units and contracted tuberculosis while working in a military hospital. On October 25, 1916, at the age of 51, Papus passed away in Paris.