Johannes Agrippa was born Jan van Rensselaer in 1843. At the age of five, he had his first vision that he claimed to receive from God and it was then that he believed himself to be the new messiah. Others however criticized him for revealing his visions and his father, who was a Lutheran minister, would often beat him for speaking heretical and idolatrous talk. Such shunning and ridicule made life for Jan difficult. He learned to keep his visions to himself, but he would write down every vision he had while sleeping or during the evening while meditating.
Jan could not find a steady job after reaching adulthood, but he was a still a scholarly individual with a gift for languages. He could speak Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Sanskrit, French, and English. He did eventually find a job as a bank clerk, but it soon came to an end in 1865 when his third eye fully opened and he became fully aware of the mysteries of the world. His enlightenment however occurred while he was at the bank and his boss quickly fired him. As fate would have it however, a bank customer by the name of Sir Adamson Tinsdale, witnessed the event. Being a practicing magician and a member of a small mystic order, he followed Jan home and invited him to join his group and study under him.
Jan studied under him and quickly surpassed his master as he mastered many occult disciplines and rituals including learning Enochian. In 1872 he was contacted by the mysterious and otherworldly Secret Watchers who initiated him into the mystery's of the Aeon Rites given by God to humanity and recorded by the Secret Watchers. Jan devoted himself to uncovering all of the secrets of the Aeon Rites and spreading them for the benefit of humanity. He took on the name Johannes Agrippa in honor of two famous occultist, who he said are now part of the Secret Watchers, and in 1873 founded the Ancient Order of the Aeon Rites. During this time he compiled the Book of the Aeon Rites which now serves as the order's main text of instruction on the occult and sorcery. He led the group for 15 years until his death in 1888 when he joined the Secret Watchers and continues to occasionally guide the Order and any young magician that he feels is worthy.
Despite his accomplishments in the occult world, he garnered mixed views among other occultist at the time and after his death. Some believed he truly was in contact with some mysterious entities and received a more pure form of magic. Others believed he was an eccentric hallucinating bank clerk with a strong talent for magic that was looking to found a cult of personality around him.