Born in Sicily under the name Guiseppe Balsamo, Cagliostro allegedly Awakened in 1770 and was recruited into the Hermetic Covenant of Palermo. Only one year after his admission, the covenant was destroyed by the Order of Reason, leaving Cagliostro to wander Europe by himself. Traversing the noble courts, Cagliostro bedazzled the nobility with fake elixirs, alchemical diamonds, communication with spirits and similar things. Claiming to have been tutored by the Egyptian magician Althotas, he styled himself as the "Grand Copt". In 1784, he founded the Egyptian rite of Freemasonry and took on extensive travels across the continent to promote it. After the Affair of the Diamond Necklace at the court of Louis XVI of France in 1785, he spent nine months in the Bastille, where he wrote the "Open Letters to the French People", which detailed the conditions of the Bastille and may have been one of the catalysts of the French Revolution.
In 1789, Cagliostro was captures by agents of the Inquisition in London. During the trial, he was accused to have been a pretender and a charlatan. Confronted with information from his beginnings in Sicily, Cagliostro was condemned to a life sentence. He was saved by a Setite coterie that had posed as his mentor Althotas, and who had provided him with exemplars from their vitae to ghoul him, but ultimately had deemed him a failure. In the end, they saved him from prison and brought Cagliostro to the Temple of Faiyum, where their Hierophant, Shemti, gave Cagliostro the Embrace.
For information about the real Alessandro Cagliostro, see Alessandro Cagliostro at Wikipedia.
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