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Hall, Manly Palmer (1901-1990)

Hall, Manly Palmer (1901-1990)

Writer and lecturer on astrology and the occult. He was born on March 18, 1901, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and moved to the United States in 1904. He had an early interest in matters occult and as a young man joined the Theosophical Society, the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, and the American Federation of Astrologers.

Hall moved to California in 1923 and was ordained to the ministry in a metaphysical church. He became the pastor of the Church of the People, an independent occult and metaphysical congregation in Los Angeles, California; established the Hall Publishing Company; and began a magazine, The All-Seeing Eye. Hall, though lacking formal higher education, wrote a series of occult titles that became known for their erudition. Possibly the most important book from his early writings is An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabalistic, and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy (1928) in which he attempted to correlate the teachings of various alternative occult traditions.

In 1934, Hall, who had harbored a dream of creating a school modeled on the ancient one headed by Pythagoras, founded the Philosophical Research Society, which he hoped would become a major center for the dissemination of ancient wisdom throughout North America. It became the home to a large library, including many rare texts, collected by Hall.

Through the last 60 years of his life Hall lectured and wrote widely, his texts ranging over the broad field of the occult and topics relative to it, including history and comparative religion. He died on August 29, 1990, in Los Angeles, and his work is being continued by the society. Hall avoided writing autobiographical material during his life, and his volume on his grandmother is the only autobiographical information he left.

Sources:

Hall, Manly Palmer. Growing Up with Grandmother. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1985.

. The Little World of PRS. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1982.

. Reincarnation: The Cycle of Necessity. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1942.

. Self-Unfoldment by Disciplines of Realization. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1945.

Melton, J. Gordon. Religious Leaders of America. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.

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