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The Count of Saint-Germain
by James Dilworth
The man known as the Count of Saint-Germain or le Comte de Saint-Germain as he is more commonly known (also known as "der Wundermann", meaning the wonder man in German) is a figure of mystery whose legend has grown in the last 200 years since his death, or supposed death according to some. There are several conflicting versions of his early life one being, that he was born in 1710 in Portugal, a Sephardic Jew. Another account said his name was Francis Ragoczy and that he was a prince from Transylvania who made a living from the trade of jewels. What is known for certain is that Saint-Germain spoke all European languages fluently, had a complete knowledge of history, was a composer of music and was able to play the violin very well. He was most famous for his amazing skills in medicine and alchemy, especially for transmuting metals into gold and having a secret technique for removing flaws from diamonds. He was also said to be the inventor of Masonry (since he claimed to be thousands of years old) as well as a skilled Cabalist (see Kabbalah), rarely ate in public and always dressed in black and white.
The first real evidence for the existence of Saint-Germain comes in a
letter from 1743, where the English writer Horace Walpole (the author of
The Castle of Otranto, the first gothic novel) mentions his presence
in London and in the English court. Saint-Germain was soon expelled having
been accused of being a spy for he Stewart pretenders to the English crown.
Saint-Germain went to France around 1748, becoming a favorite of Louis XV
who employed him as a spy several times and exerted great influence over
that monarch. Around 1760 Saint-Germain was forced to leave France and returned
to England where he met the Count Cagliostro
and taught him the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry. In 1762 Saint-Germain was
found in St. Petersburg, playing a very important part in the conspiracy
to make Catherine the Great Queen of Russia. After returning to Paris in
1770, he traveled through Germany, eventually settleling in the state of
Schleswig-Holstein. There he studied the "Secret Sciences" with
the landgrave Charles of Hesse and was said to have died in 1784. Some people
disagree with this date for his death, since he was said to have been in
Paris in 1789, during the French Revolution. Since 1789 Saint-Germain is
said to have been seen all over the world, appearing to many famous occultists
as well as normal people, both in spirit and in flesh.
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University Press. New Hyde Park, New York. 1963
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Spence, Lewis. The Encyclopedia of Occultism. University Press. New York. 1959
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