Manly P. Hall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Manly P Hall)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Manly P. Hall
Hall in the late 1920s
Hall in the late 1920s
Born(1901-03-18)March 18, 1901
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
DiedAugust 29, 1990(1990-08-29) (aged 89)
Los Angeles, California, United States
OccupationPhilosopher, writer
CitizenshipCanada
Period1919–1990
SubjectPhilosophy
Notable worksThe Secret Teachings of All Ages
The Lost Keys Of Freemasonry
SpouseMarie Bauer (m.1950)[citation needed]
Fay Lee (m.1930)[citation needed]

Manly Palmer Hall (18 March 1901 – 29 August 1990) was a Canadian author, lecturer, astrologer and mystic. Over his 70 year career, he gave thousands of lectures, including two at Carnegie Hall, and published over 150 volumes, of which the best known is The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928).

In 1934, he founded The Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. It includes a research library, lecture hall and publishing house.

Early life[edit]

Hall was born in 1901 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada,[1] to Louise Palmer Hall, a chiropractor and member of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, and William S Hall, a dentist.[2] The younger Hall is said to have never known his father.[3] In 1919, Hall moved from Canada to Los Angeles, California to reunite with his birth mother who was living in Santa Monica. Upon meeting her, he was almost immediately drawn to the arcane world of mysticism, esoteric philosophies, and their underlying principles. Hall delved deeply into "teachings of lost and hidden traditions, the golden verses of Hindu gods, Greek philosophers and Christian mystics, and the spiritual treasures waiting to be found within one's own soul."

Career[edit]

In 1919, Hall took over as preacher of the Church of the People, located at Trinity Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.[3] Less than a year later, Hall booked his first lecture on the topic of reincarnation.[3]: 15–18  Hall was ordained a minister in the Church of the People on 17 May 1923. Only a few days later, he was elected "permanent pastor" of the church.[3]: 28  His first publications consisted of two small pamphlets, The Breastplate of the High Priest (1920), and Wands and Serpents (1927). Between 1922 and 1923 he wrote three books: The Initiates of the Flame (1922), The Ways of the Lonely Ones (1922), and The Lost Keys of Freemasonry (1923). Hall himself would become a Freemason later in life, in 1954.[4]

During the early 1920s, Carolyn Lloyd and her daughter Estelle, members of a family who controlled an oil field in Ventura County, California, began sending a sizeable portion of their oil income to Hall. [3]: 38–43  With these donated funds, Hall traveled within Europe and Asia to study the lives, customs and religions of the people there.[3]: 41  While visiting London, England in the early 1930's, Hall acquired a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts about alchemy and esotericism from an auction agent at Sotheby's. Due to economic conditions resulting from the Great Depression, he acquired the collection for a much lower than normal price. Caroline Lloyd died in 1946 and in her will, she left Hall a house, $15,000 in cash, and an annual percentage of her family's oil field shares, valued at approximately $10,000 per year for the next 38 years.[3]: 60 

The Secret Teachings of All Ages[edit]

By 1928, Hall had become sufficiently known and respected as an interpreter and lecturer of many ancient writings. He utilized print and word-of-mouth advertising to solicit public funding to finance his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928). It is estimated to have cost $150,000 to publish.: 20–21, 50 [5]: vi  Original records on file with the Philosophical Research Society indicate his book was sold at a price somewhere between $50-$100.[6] The HS Crocker Company of San Francisco agreed to be his publisher if he could secure the interest of book designer John Henry Nash, who once worked as a printer for the Vatican."[3]: 52  Color illustrations were created by John Augustus Knapp.

After The Secret Teachings of All Ages circulated, Hall became an increasing influence on the metaphysical movement sweeping the United States. His book challenged assumptions about society's spiritual roots which made readers view them in new and diverse ways."[3]: 52  He dedicated his book to "the proposition that concealed within the emblematic figures, allegories and rituals of the ancients is a secret doctrine concerning the inner mysteries of life, which doctrine has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds."[7]: 20  As one writer put it: "The result was a gorgeous, dreamlike book of mysterious symbols, concise essays and colorful renderings of mythical beasts rising out of the sea, and angelic beings with lions' heads presiding over somber initiation rites in torch-lit temples of ancestral civilizations that had mastered latent powers beyond the reach of modern man."[3]: 50 

In 1988, Hall himself wrote: "The greatest knowledge of all time should be available to the twentieth century not only in the one shilling editions of the Bohn Library in small type and shabby binding, but in a book that would be a monument, not merely a coffin. John Henry Nash agreed with me."[8]: 4 

Further publications and lectures[edit]

The major books which followed include The Dionysian Artificers (1936), Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians (1937), and Masonic Orders of Fraternity (1950). In his over 70-year career, Hall delivered approximately 8,000 lectures in the United States and abroad, authored over 150 books and essays, and wrote countless magazine articles. He appears in the introduction to the 1938 film When Were You Born, a murder mystery that uses astrology as a key plot point. Hall wrote the original story for the film (screenplay by Anthony Coldeway) and is also credited as the narrator.

Ticket for Manly P. Hall at Carnegie Hall, 2 December 1942

In 1942, Hall spoke to a record-setting audience at Carnegie Hall, on "The Secret Destiny of America," which later became a book of the same title. Through a series of stories, his book alleged that a secret order of philosophers created the idea of America as a country based on religious freedom and self-governance.[9][10] In one of the stories that Hall cites as evidence of America's exceptionalism, he claims that an angel was present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and inspiring them with God's words.[10] President Ronald Reagan is reported to have adopted ideas and phrasing from The Secret Destiny of America (1944) in his speeches and essays for his allegorical use of the City upon a Hill.[9][10]

Hall returned in 1945 for another well-attended lecture at Carnegie Hall, titled: "Plato's Prophecy of Worldwide Democracy."[11]

Personal life[edit]

Hall and his followers went to extreme lengths to keep any gossip or information that could tarnish his image from being publicized, and little is known about his first marriage, on 28 April 1930, to Fay B. deRavenne, then 28, who had been his secretary during the preceding five years. The marriage was not a happy one; his friends never discussed it, and Hall removed virtually all information about her from his papers following her suicide on 22 February 1941.[3]: 55, 97  Following a long friendship, on 5 December 1950, Hall married Marie Schweikert Bauer (following her divorce from George Bauer), and the marriage, though stormy, was happier than his first.[12] Marie Schweikert Bauer Hall died April 21, 2005.[3]: 120, 127, 133, 278 

In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society (PRS) in Los Angeles, California, a nonprofit organization[13] dedicated to the study of religion, mythology, metaphysics, and the occult.[14] The PRS still maintains a research library of over 50,000 volumes,[15] and also sells and publishes metaphysical and spiritual books, mostly those authored by Hall.[16] After his death, some of Manly Hall's rare alchemy books were sold to keep the PRS in operation. "Acquisition of the Manly Palmer Hall Collection in 1995 provided the Getty Research Institute with one of the world's leading collections of alchemy, esoterica, and hermetica."[17][18]

Hall was a Knight Patron of the Masonic Research Group of San Francisco, with which he was associated for a number of years prior to his Masonic affiliations. On 28 June 1954, Hall initiated as a Freemason into Jewel Lodge No. 374, San Francisco (now the United Lodge); passed 20 September 1954; and raised 22 November 1954. He took the Scottish Rite Degrees a year later.[19] He later received his 32° in the Valley of San Francisco AASR (SJ).[20] On 8 December 1973 (47 years after writing The Secret Teachings of All Ages), Hall was recognized as a 33° Mason (the highest honor conferred by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite) at a ceremony held at the Philosophical Research Society (PRS).[21][22]

Bust of Manly Hall,
artist unknown

Selected works[edit]

  • (1922) The Initiates of the Flame. The first published book by Hall
  • (1923) The Lost Keys of Freemasonry
  • (1925) The Noble Eightfold Path. Teachings of the Great Buddha, in 7 parts. (Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles)
  • (1925) Shadow Forms: A Collection of Occult Stories
  • (1929) Lectures on Ancient Philosophy — An Introduction to the Study and Application of Rational Procedure
  • (1933) Introduction to Max Heindel's Blavatsky and The Secret Doctrine, 1933
  • (1942) How to Understand Your Bible
  • (1943) Lady of Dreams: A fable in the manner of the Chinese (Los Angeles)
  • (1944) The Secret Destiny of America
  • (1944) The Guru by His Disciple – The Way of the East
  • (1951) America's Assignment with Destiny
  • (1980) The Blessed Angels: A Monograph
  • (1984) Lectures in Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals
  • (1988) Meditation Symbols in Eastern & Western Mysticism-Mysteries of the Mandala
  • The Adepts Series
  • A Monthly Letter Devoted to Spiritual and Philosophical Problems
    • Atlantis, An Interpretation
    • Symbolic Essays
    • Noah and His Wonderful Ark

References[edit]

  1. ^ Magazine, New Dawn. "Secret Teachings Reborn: The Mysterious Life of Manly P. Hall | New Dawn : The World's Most Unusual Magazine". www.newdawnmagazine.com. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ "About | Philosophical Research Society". new.prs.org. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sahagun, Louis (2008). Master of the Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall. Port Townsend, Washington: Process Media.
  4. ^ "Manly Palmer Hall".
  5. ^ Hall, Manly P. (1988) [1928; facsimile, with new prefaces]. An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy: Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages (Diamond Jubilee ed.). Los Angeles, California: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc. ISBN 0-89314-830-X reduced paperback. Also 0-89314-546-7, 0-89314-548-3 reduced casebound, 0-89314-830-X reduced paperback;{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  6. ^ Several original subscription documents were located by Edie Shapiro, PRS Librarian, on 6 August 2012. Ms. Shapiro stated: "It appears the price was $50, $75 or $100 (or complimentary, depending)," so an exact accounting of the costs may not be possible to reconstruct.
  7. ^ Hall, Manly P. (1928). An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy: Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages (Subscribers' ed.). San Francisco, California: H. S. Crocker & Co.
  8. ^ Hall, Manly P. (2003). The Secret Teachings of All Ages: Reader's Edition (Reader's ed.). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 1-58542-250-9. The Reader's Edition is a trade paperback (6" wide and 9" tall).{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  9. ^ a b "Reagan and the Occult" by Mitch Horowitz, The Washington Post, Political Bookworm, April 30th, 2010
  10. ^ a b c Sexton, Jared Yates (25 March 2020). "The Cult of the Shining City Embraces the Plague". The New Republic.
  11. ^ "Carnegie Hall : Performance History Search". Carnegiehall.org. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  12. ^ Nichols, Kimberly (15 December 2012). "The Maestro and the Boy: The Kindness of Manly P. Hall | Newtopia Magazine". Newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  13. ^ The Philosophical Research Society's Tax Exempt Status – The Philosophical Research Society's declaration of its 501(c)3 nonprofit status on its website, retrieved December 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "About the Philosophical Research Society". Philosophical Research Society. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  15. ^ "About the Philosophical Research Society". University of Southern California Archival Research Center: LA as Subject Database. University of Southern California. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  16. ^ "About the Philosophical Research Society". McRae’s Bluebook. McRae’s Bluebook. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  17. ^ "Alchemy—Special Collections". The Getty Research Institute. J. Paul Getty Trust. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts (1500-1825)". Getty Research Institute. hdl:10020/cifa950053. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  19. ^ The Manly Palmer Hall Archive, retrieved September 28, 2009.
  20. ^ Denslow, William R. (1958). 10,000 Famous Freemasons, vol. ii. [Trenton, MO. : Missouri Lodge of Research / Educational Bureau, Royal Arch Mason Magazine]. p. 165.
  21. ^ "MPH Biography". Archived from the original on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2005.
  22. ^ Manly P. Hall's Obituary, Scottish Rite Journal, November, 1990, p. 22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link). (Note: archives don't go back this far so this reference is in question. However, the Philosophical Research Society Manly Palmer Hall biography Archived 2011-03-04 at the Wayback Machine states this (word-for-word) except the text on this page stated the 33° is the highest degree conferred by the Scottish Rite, a rare and high honor, Manly Palmer Hall, was given the highest honor conferred by the Scottish Rite in recognition of his esteemed work: The Grand Cross of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, Washington, D.C. in 1985 (can only be conferred on 33rd Degree Masons). The Supreme Council – Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? – The Methods of Anti-Masons Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine questions Hall's Mason authority status.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sahagun, Louis (2008). Master of the Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall. Process. ISBN 978-1-934170-02-1.
  • Horowitz, Mitch (2009). Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation. New York: Bantam. ISBN 978-0-553-38515-1.

External links[edit]