Walker, Thane (ca. 1890-?)

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Walker, Thane (ca. 1890-?)

Founder (with Phez Kahlil) of the Prosperos, a group stemming from the philosophy of mystic G. I. Gurdjieff. Walker was born in Nowaway County, Missouri. He claimed to have been one of America's first psychologists and to have been imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp after writing the article "I Saw Hitler Make Black Magic." He was a Marine Corps officer and entertained American troops in Japan during the occupation in World War II.

As a former pupil of Gurdjieff, Walker became a Gurdjieff-style figure, teaching students through stories and disorienting activities, but also drawing upon Freudian and Jungian psychology and occult and astrological traditions. Walker believed students should wake from the misleading reality of everyday sensory experience and limited personality to a wider reality.

The Prosperos group was founded in Florida in 1956, but the organization has since moved its headquarters to California and reported some 3,000 members at the end of the 1980s.


Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of American Religions. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.