Krumm-Heller, Arnoldo (1876–1949)
Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, a German esotericist who became
an important figure in the spread of occultism in Latin America,
was born Arnold Krumm-Heller in Salchendorf, Germany,
on April 15, 1876. At the age of 16 he moved to Argentina to
live with his brother on a ranch in the country’s interior. He
failed to make the connection when he arrived in South America
and wound up in Chile working as a chemist. There he remained
for the next two decades. Then in 1896 he began to
travel extensively. He returned to Germany, where he studied
with Franz Hartmann, noted Theosophist and occultist.
Around the turn of the century he visited with Gérard Encausse,
publicly known as Papus, and later attended the Masonic
and Spiritual Conference that Papus organized in Paris
in 1908. At that conference he was given authority and he accepted
responsibility to spread the esoteric work in Spain and
Latin America. Documents to this effect were received from
both Papus and from Theodor Reuss, the head of the Ordo
Templi Orientis. At some point he was also consecrated as a
bishop in the Gnostic Catholic Church by H. C. Peithmann.
In 1910 Krumm-Heller settled in Mexico and began to
study medicine. Prior to World War I (1914–18), he founded
the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua and opened a branch of
the Gnostic Church using a set of rituals supplied by Peithmann
as well as the Gnostic Mass developed by Aleister Crowley. He
developed the work for a decade and then in 1920 moved back
to Germany. He settled in Marburg, where he established a
printing business.
Marburg became the center of what had become an international
Spanish-speaking esoteric work. He moved in occult circles
and knew Aleister Crowley, Karl Johannes Germer, and
Rudolf Steiner, who had founded the Anthroposophical Society.
Then in 1936 a pamphlet began to circulate accusing
Krumm-Heller and Reuss of being agents of a Jewish-Masonic
conspiracy. At one point the Nazi government confiscated
Krumm-Heller’s library but did not arrest him. He left Germany
and spent a year in Mexico, but returned to Germany, where
he lived through World War II (1939–45). He remained in contact
with the Rosicrucians in Latin America through friends in
Sweden. Soon after the war ended he reactivated the international
leadership of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, but
lived only four more years.
Krumm-Heller died in Marburg in 1949. He did not appoint
an international successor, but rather named a series of
successors, each with a responsibility for a single country. Besides
groups in Latin America, the fraternity had work in Spain
and the Philippines. He had, at one point, issued a charter to
H. Spencer Lewis, founder of the Ancient Mystical Order
Rosae Crucis, but later withdrew it. He then established ties
with R. Swinburne Clymer and the Rosicrucian Fraternity in
Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
Sources
The Invisible Basilica Arnoldo Krumm-Heller. http
www.hermetic.comsabazuskrumm.htm. April, 21, 2000.

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