Our Founder — Hamid Bey

When Hamid Bey was a small boy, he had a remarkable experience. Hamid and his parents met with a scholar who felt Hamid was a candidate for Coptic Temple training and the parents agreed. In Coptic temple training, Hamid was taught spiritual disciplines in emotional and mental control and meditation. One lesson that made a great impression on him occurred when he was sent by his Master out in the countryside to beg for food for the temple. His Master had told him to thank the people whether or not they gave him anything.

As Hamid grew in years, so did the advanced pace of his training. He was taught to place his body at the complete command of his will and to enter into a state of suspended animation. There were six preparatory Temples of learning that Hamid passed through before he could enter the final temple, the Temple of Divine Wisdom. In order to get to this temple, it is necessary to swim the Nile and enter through a tunnel. The big test here is that the Nile is infested in this area with vast numbers of crocodiles. The only way to know whether crocodiles are in the murky water, is to locate them by mind power. This is something Hamid and his classmates were taught in their previous years of intensive training.

In this temple, Hamid passed through the greatest and final test. In the temple, a flower is cultivated which does not grow anywhere in the world except deepest central Africa. It is a beautiful white flower that gradually opens and closes. When open, the perfume of the flower is very pleasant, but is a deadly poison to humans. It is used to prove an initiate's physical and mental control. The flower is placed in the center of a series of concentric circles. There are eleven circles in all; the eleventh one closest to the flower. The initiate must keep his body independent of the poison, and sit for one hour in a circle, beginning with the outermost circle. Each circle moves the initiate closer to the flower, gives him one more ring. Hamid Bey made it to the seventh circle, which made him a seven-ring Master. The rings were symbolically worn on his headdress. When he attained the seventh degree, Hamid felt that he should leave the temple and go out into the world.

Upon his graduation from training, Hamid was given the privilege of a personal meeting with the great Master of the temple. The hour he spent with him gave Hamid guiding inspiration throughout his life. At the age of eighteen, he returned home to his family in Cairo. He soon joined the armed forces that were being sent out from Egypt to do service in World War I. He spent the next few years in the air force. There was one occasion during the war when his ability to place himself into trance saved his life. He found himself behind the lines with the enemy fast upon him. He put himself into trance and the enemy soldiers completely ignored him, being certain that he was already dead.

After W.W.I, Hamid decided to go to Italy and publicly demonstrate the powers he had learned in the temple training. He wanted to convince a skeptical world that there is much more to a man than the outer form. His intention was to place himself in a state of suspended animation and be buried alive six feet underground for three days.

In 1927, the magician Houdini, was attracting worldwide attention and announced that he could duplicate by mechanical ,means any so-called spiritual phenomenon ever produced. So Hamid Bey was sent to the United States in 1927 to challenge Houdini. Three weeks after Hamid arrived, Houdini died. Hamid, then not knowing any English or any of the customs, signed up as a vaudeville act under a binding two year contract. He spent the next two years, much to his disdain, doing his "act" on stage three times a day for sometimes heckling audiences. After that experience, he became great friends with Paramhansa Yogananda and traveled with him doing shows and lectures together.

To Maintain his temple rank of seven ring Master, Hamid had to return to Egypt every seven years and go through additional tests and examinations by his Master. In 1936, Hamid returned to Egypt and had a great spiritual experience. He was taken astrally by his Master to the secret Archive Chamber of the Great Pyramid. Hamid's true mission in the United States was revealed to him. The United States was to become the new Holy Land, and the Coptic Order would be established here. In 1937 Master Hamid Bey founded the Coptic Fellowship in Los Angeles California.

In the following years Hamid dedicated his life to teaching the Universal Principles of right living throughout the United States. Helping him was a pure, humble man from Switzerland, Master Stanley. Little is known of Master Stanley's background, because he would seldom speak of himself or his past, but a few details are known.

As a young boy in Switzerland, Master Stanley had a spiritual experience that led him to become a teacher of Truth. One hot day he rode his bicycle up a very steep hill and when he reached the top, he was totally exhausted. He went into a state of "suspended consciousness" and, in his words, 'the Christ' came to him and spoke. He never revealed what the Christ said to him, but the experience served as a guiding inspiration all his life. Master Stanley often spoke of the Christ's message of Love which he wanted to get to as many people as possible.

Master Stanley first came in contact with the Coptic Philosophy when he attended a lecture by Hamid Bey in Detroit, Michigan. A deep spiritual bond was immediately recognized between them. Master Stanley set about helping to spread the Coptic Teachings throughout the Midwest. He was ordained by Master Hamid Bey. He founded the Detroit Coptic Temple and established and taught at centers in Milwaukee, Toledo and Chicago, and went on to open 10 more centers throughout the Midwest.

In the next twenty three years, Hamid Bey, aided by Master Stanley, continued to teach and establish Coptic Centers. Master Stanley reached the point of transition from his life in 1972.

John Davis, who was ordained by Master Stanley in 1969, became the Midwest Coptic director after Master Stanley's passing in 1972. In 1974, the Coptic Fellowship held their first National Convention in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

On July 16, 1976, Hamid Bey left his physical body. This happened for two reasons: first, he realized that people were not concentrating on learning the truth for themselves; and secondly, they were concentrating on his dynamic personality. He passed over in a hospital in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest. He simply stopped his heart from beating. Before his death, he chose John Davis to take over as National Director. Hamid's body was cremated according to his wishes, and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Today, Coptics not only exist, we are growing, We no longer stand on the threshold of the New Age, we have proven ourselves and have stepped through it. The present Coptics are universal in purpose.

We alone determine our level of service. The very purpose for which we came here is upon us. Every one of us is needed. The symbol of the Aquarian Age is the Diamond. Nothing transmits Light with such purity and clarity; nothing is stronger. We all have the Diamond within us. Within us we have the strength to make our diamonds glow like the spiritual SUNS we truly are. As we lift ourselves up and join together, we take the rest of humanity with us! In spiritual truth, the birth of the Christ Consciousness is within each of us. It is to this Divine Purpose that the Teachings of the Coptic Fellowship are dedicated.