It is a very fortunate that a number of such schools have continued preserving original knowledge for many hundreds of years despite very severe hardships (in addition to the few remaining, genuine mystery schools having successfully preserved both pillars of mystical study). Based upon my personal knowledge, I would recommend that those of you seeking information about genuine esoterica look to the following: (1) the Kabbalist Teacher, Michael Laitman and the Bnei Baruch, (2) the Rosicrucian Order [AMORC] and (3) the Traditional Martinist Order.
Question 11: Why are mystery schools believed to be secret organizations by the lay public? Do mystery schools really have secret knowledge?
Answer 11: The mystery schools of ancient Egypt never attempted to portray themselves as secret organizations. In the early days of Egypt, access to the antechambers of the mystery schools were available to all students who could read and write–without regard to social status. The forerunners of the initial mystery schools were intimately associated with the early religious centers of Egypt. Moreover, the hierarchical structure of Egyptian society was based upon the concepts of (1) divine order, or Maat, and (2) the understanding that the relationships between God and man were as a parent to his child. For an Egyptian, whether he or she was studying within a mystery school, officiating as a temple priest, working within the civil service, plowing a field or being Pharaoh, a divine representative of god upon the earth, all was in order within creation. Consequently, secrecy and stealth were not necessary since no significant inner conflicts existed between the mystery schools, government or social sector (at through the New Kingdom).
Secrecy and privacy as to the existence of the mystery schools only became necessary when Egypt lost its connection with its original ideals and replaced them with personal aggrandizement, greed and secularization of the religious centers. Secrecy is necessary whenever an esoteric school must function within the environment of strong social organizations dedicated to the suppression of truth, justice and individuality.
Towards the end of the 18th Dynasty, the Initiates of the Great School, who were incarnate within the mystery school operating within the pharaoh’s chambers, came to recognize that the greatness of Egypt would eventually falter as population and land needs increased among its surrounding neighbors (Aryan and Semitic) leading to conflicts between empires and continual war. These seers foresaw the ‘sacred principles of law, order, just and cooperation–Maat’ would be eclipsed by the ‘principles of power, disorder, injustice and greed–Seth’. In time Egypt and its neighbors would be living within a time of darkness and despair.
The Initiates recognized also the necessity of assuring that the knowledge acquired through the hard efforts of the mystery school would not be lost and formulated a plan so to insure its availability for future generations of men and women ready for taking the first steps upon the ‘ancient and sure path to conscious evolution’.