Prominent individuals within the Breton organization initiated the establishment of connections with Druid groups in France and Britain, notably the Universal Bond, with whom they participated in a ceremonial event at Stonehenge. MacGregor-Reid and his companions thereafter paid a visit to the Goursez. In contrast, the Welsh Gorsedd had completely abandoned these connections until an event in the late 1940s, when the ruling Archdruid and Herald Bard agreed to attend a Wessex festival at a mansion in Dorset, wearing their robes. There is a lack of documented evidence regarding the English Druids observed at that location.

However, the visiting Welshmen perceived them as peculiar and deviating from the established norms. The board of management of Gorsedd made the decision to prohibit any additional interactions of this nature, as doing so may potentially tarnish its reputation. The invitation made by the Ancient Order of Druid Hermetists, maybe implicated as the perpetrators in Dorset, was unequivocally declined.

In 1963, a conflict arose between the agendas of the two national bodies when a man, who had previously served as a Methodist clergyman and secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, was re-elected as Archdruid of the Welsh Gorsedd. The individual promptly submitted a request to the Goursez, requesting that it only establish and sustain connections with the Gorsedd and the Cornish Gorseth, while refraining from engaging with any other entities. In addition, he proposed that participation in all three groups should be limited exclusively to individuals who identify as Christians. Unsurprisingly, the Goursez rejected this as an unwarranted intrusion into its affairs, and the Gorsedd swiftly cut off connections with its Breton descendants.

The schism persisted until the year 1971, at which point the Cornish Gorseth facilitated the establishment of a peace pact between the Welsh and the Bretons. It manifested as a capitulation to the majority of the demands put out by the Welsh Archdruid. The affirmation of local autonomy for the three national bodies was accompanied by the grant of supreme authority to the Gorsedd in governing the norms and practices of all three entities. Furthermore, everyone unanimously acknowledged the utmost importance of protecting our individual assemblies from any encroachment by foreign and non-Celtic individuals and groups. This proclamation resulted in a complete division between the Welsh, Cornish, and Breton institutions, which were influenced by Iolo Morganwg, and the English Druid orders.30 Partially, it was a manifestation of contemporary Celtic chauvinist, while also guaranteeing that an organization that could include the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and later the Archbishop of Canterbury as its members could not be accused of associating with individuals of questionable reputation.

By the 1950s, what were the heretical doctrines espoused by the Universal Bond?

These beliefs were partially based on an evolving historical narrative, which was disseminated to the general people through a collection of printed materials such as handbills and pamphlets. The allegation was made that the establishment of the order might be attributed to John Toland in 1717, with Stukeley assuming leadership as his successor. By 1950, the assertion, initially put forth by the elder Reid, had further solidified the notion that all the Druid groups established during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were derived from the Universal Bond. The assertion was made that the Victorian esoteric orders, including the Societas Rosicruciana, had also originated from the Bond.

By the mid-1950s, this renowned historical background allowed it to incorporate two further designations into its already wide roster: ‘The Most Ancient Order of Druids’ and ‘The Ancient Druid Order’. In 1951, an expansion was made to the roster of chiefs who had a continuous lineage from Toland and Stukeley. This expansion involved the inclusion of names of individuals who purportedly held leadership positions within the organization between the mid and late nineteenth century. Three Victorians, namely William Carpenter, Edward Vaughan Keneally, and Gerald Massey, were influential in promoting the concept of a global religion and the reunification of humanity. This list reached its peak with O’Callaghan, whom Reid had mentored after his death, and with Reid himself. Regarding the initial three instances, it is evident that the new Universal Bond was effectively replicating Reid’s actions by acquiring former members and enlisting individuals whom its leaders held in high regard. Furthermore, it was also honoring Reid’s unwavering principles.

The last details of the pseudo-history were incorporated during the latter part of the 1950s or the early 1960s.33. The roster of chiefs spanning from Toland to MacGregor-Reid was finalized by incorporating individuals who had written about Druids or were linked to the resurgence of interest in them during the eighteenth century, so bridging the gap between Stukeley and Carpenter. All individuals, in accordance with the ideological disposition of the Universal Bond, were characterized as social, political, or religious extremists, often including all three. Iolo Morganwg was conspicuously excluded, either because to his strong affiliation with the Welsh Gorsedd, or possibly because the Bond had become aware of his disreputable status as a forger. One of his supporters, David Samwell, and William Blake were replaced in his position.

The order was provided with a comprehensive legendary prehistory and historical account. Iolo’s pseudo-history of ancient Britain was introduced before the modern mythological history of Atlantis, which is believed to be the source of all the ancient world’s mystery schools. The description provided by Spence regarding the Druidic community in medieval Oxford was reiterated and supplemented with the AODH’s claim that the Mount Haemus Grove was established there in 1245, with the aim of revitalizing Druidry in England. According to claims, this Grove was responsible for the Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century, which served as inspiration for the establishment of the Royal Society and Greenwich Observatory. It was also said that John Aubrey was the leader of this revolution. Aubrey is now acknowledged for recommending Toland to undertake the significant task of consolidating the five remaining branches of British Druids in 1717, with the endorsement of the monarchy, in order to establish the Universal Bond.

The order had later included the Victorian novelists Bulwer-Lytton and Charles Kingsley as members or associates. These circumstances created the foundation for a society that emerged between 1910 and 1918 to demonstrate its superiority over all the older and larger modern Druid orders. It also allowed it to challenge historians and prehistorians if needed. Nevertheless, it was also a manifestation of exceptional conditions. Similar to how the previous Universal Bond, during Reid’s tenure, had a tendency to construct and enhance a historical narrative when confronted by archaeologists or civil servants, the more intricate and distinct reconstructed order had been characterized by the emergence of challenges. The disinheritance of Robert MacGregor-Reid, his subsequent seizure of power by a coup, and the protracted conflict with the group from which he had seceded collectively heightened his awareness, along with his followers, of the imperative of establishing a legitimate bloodline.

Breton organization initiated the establishment of connections with Druid groups, Glastonbury Zodiac

Glastonbury Zodiac

Simultaneously, the stance adopted by the order on prehistoric monuments further distanced it from the prevailing scholarly consensus. Undoubtedly, it was including unconventional interpretations of landscape characteristics. The editor of the 1951’souvenir brochure’, which was released during the summer solstice, enumerated several monuments that were clearly or likely created by the ancient Druids. The inclusion of Stonehenge and Avebury in the list was not unexpected, however subject to controversy. Additionally, the Georgian folly at Swinton in Yorkshire was also included, seemingly based on the assumption of its antiquity. In addition, the ‘Glastonbury Zodiac’ was included, a presumed celestial temple that was identified in Somerset by an artist named Katherine Maltwood in the 1920s. This structure was created by combining various landscape elements from distinct time periods.

The belief in it has consistently been limited to a relatively small group of mystics. The ancient Druids were shown in both the public and private literature of the order as exceptional scientists, particularly in the field of astronomy, and absolved of any responsibility for human sacrifice. This portrayal was portrayed as a defamation by the Romans.