Manly Palmer Hall
(March 18th, 1901 - August 29th, 1990)
During the early 1930s, using money from the Lloyds, "Hall traveled to France and England, where he acquired his most extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts in alchemy and esoteric fields from London auctioneer, Sotheby & Company." Through an agent, due to the depressed economic conditions of the era, Hall was able to buy a substantial number of rare books and manuscripts at reasonable prices. When Caroline Lloyd died in 1946, she bequeathed Hall a home, $15,000 in cash, and "a roughly $10,000 portion of her estate's annual income from shares in the world's largest oil companies for 38 years." In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society (PRS) in Los Angeles, California, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of religion, mythology, metaphysics, and the occult.
He 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 June 28, 1954, Hall initiated as a Freemason into Jewel Lodge No. 374, San Francisco (now the United Lodge); passed September 20, 1954; and raised November 22, 1954. He took the Scottish Rite Degrees a year later. He later received his 32° in the Valley of San Francisco AASR (SJ). On December 8, 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)
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. In 1942, Manly Hall spoke to an attendance-setting audience at Carnegie Hall, on "The Secret Destiny of America," which later became a book of the same title. He returned in 1945 for another well-attended lecture at the famous venue, titled: "Plato's Prophecy of Worldwide Democracy."
The PRS still maintains a research library of over 50,000 volumes, and also sells and publishes metaphysical and spiritual books, mostly those authored by Hall. 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." It was reported in 2010 that President Ronald Reagan adopted some ideas and phrasing from Hall’s book The Secret Destiny of America (1944), using them in speeches and essays.