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Manly P. Hall and the Philosophical Research Society


On March 18, 1901 Manly Palmer Hall is born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada to William Samuel Hall and Louise Antist Hall. Hall's parents were divorced and he never knew his father.
(Master of the Mysteries, by Louis Sahagun, p. 75, and public records)


Hall's grandmother, Florence Louise Palmer, takes over his care. In Hall's only autobiographical work, Growing Up With Grandmother, Hall explains the significant influence she had on his ethical and intellectual growth.


Hall is admitted into the United States as a Canadian immigrant in the District of Chicago.
(Master of the Mysteries, by Louis Sahagun, p. 75; and public records)


Hall moves to New York with his grandmother and works at an insurance company in the financial district of New York City.
(Master of the Mysteries, by Louis Sahagun, p. 75)


After Hall's grandmother passes away at the age of 69, he heads to Los Angeles, California by train to reunite with his mother, Louise Antist Hall.
(Master of the Mysteries, by Louis Sahagun, p. 13)


Sometime in the fall of 1919, Hall meets Sydney J. Bronson, who becomes his mentor. Bronson was a 70-year-old doctor practicing phrenology in Santa Monica, California. In Hall’s memoir notes from the PRS library, he wrote that because Bronson’s soul was scarred by the civil war, he dedicated his life to the enlightenment of his fellowmen. Bronson was also very knowledgeable about eastern religious traditions and lectured to a small audience in Santa Monica. Bronson invites Hall to give his very first lecture to this small group. Soon after, Bronson introduces Hall to a community of religious liberals, the Church of the People. Shortly thereafter, Hall begins lecturing there.
(Master of the Mysteries, by Louis Sahagun, pp. 16-17; MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, pp. 3-4; and PRS Journal, Winter 1959, pp. 59-61)

Hall and his mother, Louise, visit the Rosicrucian Fellowship Headquarters in Oceanside, California. Augusta Heindel, the wife of the founder Max Heindel, teaches Hall astrology, book typesetting, printing, and book binding.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, p. 26)

Hall begins collecting alchemical texts with his first purchase.
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 5)


Hall becomes the temporary pastor for the Church of the People, taking over the pastor's duties, lecturing and counseling the parish.
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 4)


On March 17, 1923, Hall is ordained minister and permanent pastor for the Church of the People. His congregation presents to him the Rosicrucian Cross that he designed.

Two wealthy members of the Church of the People, Caroline A. Lloyd and her daughter Alma Estelle, help finance Hall's early publications and a trip around the world to study world religions and cultures and report back to the church. In the Fall of 1923, Hall's travels begin from San Francisco. He travels to Japan, Korea, China, India, Burma, Egypt, Jerusalem, Italy, Gibraltar and then returns home in the spring of 1924. His letters to the church during his travels are published as Thirty-Eight Thousand Miles of Impressions: A Document of Human Relationships.
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 5)
(PRS Library lecture given in 2019)

Hall begins publishing the All Seeing Eye Journal.


Hall publishes his famous book The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy. This book makes him internationally famous for his religious and occult scholarship. By the time the book is being printed, Hall has acquired 90% of all the titles referenced in The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 5)


Hall marries his first wife, Fay Bernice DeRavenne. Fay was previously married to Arthur DeRavenne, a French actor in Hollywood who used the name Arthur Dulac. Fay's name before both marriages was Fay Bernice Lee.
(Public records at https://www.findagrave.com)


In the late spring, Hall travels to the Peninsula of Yucatan, visiting the ancient ruins of the Maya and Toltec in the cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza. Two of his photographs from that trip were exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 2017 Exhibit: "Lost in Translation".
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 9)


The Philosophical Research Society (PRS) is incorporated as a non-profit educational institution with charitable, religious, and educational privileges.
(Little World of PRS, p. 3)

In April, Hall purchases the alchemical collection of M. Lionel Hauser at a Sotheby's auction, which includes the triangular manuscript of Comte de St. Germain. In the fall of 1934 Hall visits England and France to acquire books, such as the Rosicrucian Manuscript that he later publishes as The Codex Rosae Crucis.
(MPH memoir notes from the PRS library, p. 10)

On November 20, PRS purchases the Los Feliz property for the new foundation.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, p. 64)

Hall lectures on The Secret Doctrine in New York City at the Pythian Temple and befriends Marie Bauer.
(Quest for Burton's Vault, p. 77)


On October 17, a groundbreaking ceremony is held for the PRS construction. The first buildings constructed are a front office, print shop, book bindery, and library.
(Little World of PRS, pp. 3-4)

Hall publishes Words to the Wise, a book helping seekers distinguish between true and false paths of wisdom.


Marie Bauer moves to Los Angeles and soon thereafter begins volunteering at PRS.
(Quest for Burton's Vault, p. 82)


Hall publishes the Codex Rosae Crux, a German Rosicrucian text translated into English by Marie Bauer and her sister. Hall gives credit to Marie and her sister in the first minute of a lecture on "Human Love" (the first of a 5-part lecture series on Love).

With Roger Whatley, Hall co-writes the script for the occult murder mystery When Were You Born?, produced by Warner Brothers, starring Anna May Wong.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, p. 8 and p. 84)


Hall's first wife, Fay B. Hall, commits suicide at the age of 38.

The first issue (August, 1941) of the Horizon Journal is issued. Prior to this there were five volumes of his journal entitled the All-Seeing Eye.
(May 1923 - September 1931).


On December 2 Hall lectures at Carnegie Hall in New York City on "The Secret Destiny of America."

PRS acquires a large portion of William Randolph Hearst's library holdings.
(Little World of PRS, p. 20)


The future VP of PRS, Henry L. Drake, leaves his job as director of the Empire Insurance Company of Indianapolis to devote his life to the work of PRS.
(PRS Journal, Winter 1978, p. 67)


PRS expands the PRS premises by building two new offices attached to the north side of the library. One office connected to the library was for the librarian. The other office was for Hall and was connected to the librarian's office. Above these two offices an upstairs classroom was built. To secure valuable texts in the library, a vault was also installed.
(Little World of PRS, p. 4)

On December 5, Hall marries his second wife, Marie Bauer Hall.


Henry L. Drake becomes the Executive Vice President of PRS. Drake was a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute for Analytical Psychology and soon after obtained his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Calcutta in 1953.
(PRS Journal, Winter 1978, p. 67)

PRS introduces the new and first Correspondence Course that Hall names "The Basic Ideas of Man". Monthly lessons are sent out to students with instructions and examinations. Students are awarded certificates of accomplishment. The course cost is $35 and begins in January of 1953.
(Horizon, Winter 1952, pp. 79-80)


In the 1953 Summer edition of the Horizon journal, a new section called "Happenings at Headquarters" is added and devoted to the general activities of the society. PRS has a regular radio program of its own in Los Angeles on Radio Station KFAC. On each program there is a talk by Hall and announcements of PRS activities.
(Horizon, Summer 1953, pp. 57-8.)

The Honorable Goodwin Knight, Lieutenant Governor of California becomes a member of the PRS Advisory Board. Knight served as the 31st governor of California from 1953 to 1959. He also served as the 35th Lieutenant Governor from 1947 to 1953.
(Horizon, Autumn 1953, p. 73)

PRS announces that Virginia Pomeroy will no longer be able to transcribe lecture notes for Hall because of a prolonged illness. Pomeroy transcribed Hall's lectures for over 15 years. Pomeroy passes away in 1958.
(Horizon, Winter 1953, p. 72)


Hall is raised in San Francisco's Masonic Jewel Lodge No. 374.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, p. 177)


Hall joins the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of San Francisco.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, p. 177)

PRS begins advocating Local Study Groups by providing recommended readings of Hall's works, questions, and suggestions on how to manage the group and moderate discussions.
(Horizon, Spring, 1954, p. 66)


PRS announces the passing of Miss Katherine Schroeder. PRS describes her as "the moving spirit behind the program of tape recordings of Mr. Hall's lectures."
(Horizon, Summer 1956, p.67)

PRS announces the availability of a new PRS curriculum and requirements for earning degrees of B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. on an academic level.
(Horizon, Summer 1956, p.70)


Hall gives a series of seven lectures in New York at the Carnegie Recital Hall with proceeds being dedicated to the Building and Budget Fund of the Society.
(Horizon, Spring, 1957, p. 63)

"The School of The Philosophical Research Society" confers upon Dastur Framroze Bode the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Religion. He completed a two-year residency and all the academic requirements in his field. The subject of his dissertation was "The Zoroastrian Doctrine of the Soul."
(Horizon, Winter 1957, p.60)


The Horizon Journal, published from 1941-1957, is renamed the PRS Journal.


The PRS auditorium is completed. The address changes from 3341 Griffith Park Blvd to 3910 Los Feliz Blvd. Between 1934 and 1959, Hall's public lectures are given in the upstairs classroom of the library and also in clubhouses or theaters throughout the country. After completion of the auditorium, Hall begins lecturing there regularly every Sunday.
(Little World of PRS, p. 5)

On May 16, 1959 a ceremony is held for the completion of the auditorium and the cornerstone is put in place in the wall of the building containing the records of the Society and a list of the contributors to the project.
(Little World of PRS, p. 5)

Dr. Henry Drake, the VP of PRS, introduces a group counseling class in the Fall of 1959. The class focused on self-improvement and deals with real factual personal situations.
(PRS Journal, Winter 1959, pp. 84-85)

On Saturday afternoons, PRS begins offering courses in oil painting under the instruction of Miss Marjorie McDonald.
(PRS Journal, Winter 1959, pp. 84-85)


Alan Watts speaks at PRS on the topic of "Mysticism and Politics."
(Manly P. Hall Society, Youtube Channel Community Bulletin Board, PRS flier announcement)


PRS expands once again by extending the library, creating the lower annex. Also, new offices are built upstairs above the new lower annex of the library. Additionally, the classroom above Hall's office on the north side is extended.
(Little World of PRS, p. 7)


August 5, 1970, Hall receives a plaque from Sam Yorty, the mayor of Los Angeles at that time, honoring Manly Hall for fifty years of distinguished service as Lecturer, Author, and Teacher. The plaque is presented in the PRS auditorium.
(Little World of PRS, p. 74)


On December 8, 1973, Hall is recognized as a 33rd-degree Mason conferred by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite at a ceremony held at PRS.
(PRS website, "Manly P. Hall, Portrait of an American Sage", retrieved via "Wayback Machine")


Astronaut Captain Edgar D. Mitchell, one of the first men on the moon, is added to the PRS Board of Trustees. "Captain Mitchell has always been interested in things psychological and in esoteric philosophy. This, plus certain experiences in connection with his moon trip, now determine him to spend his life's energies in understanding the nature and meaning of man. This sincere interest is the reason the Vice-President, Dr. Drake, presents Captain Mitchell to the Society's Trustees for acceptance as a Trustee."
(PRS Journal, Summer 1974, p. 69)


Dr. Henry L. Drake passes away. He was the Vice-President of PRS for 28 years and a close friend to Hall for over 40 years.
(PRS Journal, Winter 1978, p. 67)


The Spring edition of the PRS Journal announces that Dr. John W. Ervin has become the new Vice-President of PRS. Dr. Ervin was a prominent Beverly Hills attorney with a Harvard law degree and a Professor of Tax Law at the University of Southern California. He had been a Trustee of PRS for several years and a member of the board in various capacities since the 1950s.


Marianne Williamson gives Saturday lectures on "Basic Principles in A Course in Miracles." Years later, Williamson popularized A Course in Miracles with an interview on the Oprah Show discussing her book, Return to Love, which was about the application of the course principles to her personal life experiences.
(PRS Journal, Fall, 1983, "Happenings at Headquarters")


Hall marries Charles Bukowski to his wife, Linda Beighle, on the premises of PRS. Bukowski was a German-America poet, novelist, and short story writer, whose writing became more popular with academic critics after his death in 1994. Time Magazine called him, the "laureate of American lowlife."


On August 29, 1990, Hall is found dead in his home in Los Angeles, California under suspicious circumstances which caused many to believe that he could have been murdered, although this was never proven. Hall was 89 years old at the time of his death.
(Master of the Mysteries, Louis Sahagun, pp. 331-344)

A memorial service is held on Sunday, September 23, 1990 at 11:00 A.M. at the Masonic Scottish Rite Temple of Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd. (PRS Postcard with Funeral Announcement)


Dr. Obadiah Harris becomes the President of PRS. During his term as President, which lasted until his death in 2017, Dr. Harris develops the University of Philosophical Research (UPR), an online, non-profit accredited wisdom school, providing graduate degrees in Consciousness Studies and Transformative Psychology. He also creates a digital catalog of all the contents in the PRS Library and makes it accessible to the public.


The city of Los Angeles declares PRS a Historical Cultural Monument No. 592.


The University of Philosophical Research (UPR) is opened and functions as an accredited school offering graduate degrees in Consciousness Studies and Transformative Psychology. The school was discontinued in 2018.


Marie Bauer Hall passes away in Los Angeles at the age of 100.

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