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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