What the World Has Been Missing from Manly P. Hall (“Last Minute Material that Arrived Late to the Printer”)

By Steven A. Ross

In the late 1970s, I was encouraged by my colleagues to look more deeply into the writings of Manly P. Hall, Founder and President of the Philosophical Research Society located in Los Feliz, California. Mr. Hall was a highly regarded philosopher, and I had often recognized his name and words featured in various prominent publications.

Since the 1930’s, Mr. Hall was known to speak every Sunday morning at the Research Society on a philosophical topic. On Fridays, folks would get together to discuss his points from the previous Sunday’s lecture. I decided to visit this group on a Friday afternoon where approximately 60 people had gathered. It was called a Lyceum Meeting. There was a blackboard at the front of the room with approximately seven points listed on the board.

On this special Friday, folks from the Midwest who had listened to Mr. Hall speak since the 1940s were present, all talking together in the front of the room. Most distinctively, there was a woman named Pearl Thomas who was one of the moderators of the meeting. Feeling rather reserved, I nestled my way to the back of the room. In fact, you couldn’t get any further than the last row, where I was able to anonymously position myself to listen and observe what was taking place.

Within a few minutes, someone in the audience asked the moderators about one of the points on the blackboard. After a moment of silence, Pearl Thomas called out, “How about you there?” I glanced up, only to see her pointing in my direction. I thought, she couldn’t be pointing to me! Yet, as people in the rows before me shifted their positions to the right and the left to clear a space, her gaze was clearly locked on me.

While I can’t recall exactly what I said, I responded to her question. Amazingly, heads turned toward me and nodded with smiling faces. When the session was over and I was about to leave, Pearl approached me, asking how long I had been reading the materials of Mr. Hall. I told her I had never read anything he had written. She then asked how many lectures I had attended. I told her I had never before heard Mr. Hall speak. She then informed me she was the head librarian of the Philosophical Research Society Library, and that she would like me to visit her next day. I agreed to do so.

The following day I entered the most magnificent library I had ever seen. It was a two-story chamber, flush with floor to ceiling books, all behind glass. There were paintings, scrolls, busts and numerous, exquisite exhibits. The stately wood bookcases and desks were magnificent beyond words.

A visitor would approach the librarian with a request of a book that they wanted to view, and the librarian would open up the glass case and allow the person to study it on a reading table. Materials dating back to BC were among this rare collection! Incredible parchments and scrolls, paintings and figures were all held in trust here. Undoubtedly, I was viewing one of the greatest collections on earth. I also was told of an inner vault of extremely rare materials that were not made available to the public.

I spoke with Pearl Thomas most of that day as I perused many of the library’s holdings.

When I returned the following week, Pearl informed me that whenever I desired to look at one of the books behind the glass cases, I could take the key and open the case myself. What an honor this was for me. I was truly overwhelmed.

Mr. Hall had one of the most outstanding reputations in his field with more books in print than any living author of his time.   His greatest work and the book that he was known for was, “The Secret Teachings of All Ages and Times.”  One of the greatest compendiums of spiritual knowledge ever compiled.

Although in his 70’s, Mr. Hall still gave riveting, two-hour lectures for $1. He could speak without notes on any subject. When his lecture materials were eventually typed out, they would generally be 12-15 pages single-spaced. His time was in great demand with so many folks eager to meet with him which made it difficult to arrange a time to meet with him personally.

After three more visits to the Philosophical Research Society (PRS), I had a dream one evening. I perceived that the dream had significance, so I wrote it out and gave it to Pearl Thomas on the following Saturday. Pearl, also in her 70s had listened to Hall speak since she was in her teens, so she knew him very well. She felt that the recounting of my dream should be given to Mr. Hall directly. A week later, I received a call from Mr. Hall himself. He asked me to come visit him in his office.

When I met Mr. Hall, his first words to me were, “Who are you?” I replied that I was a student. He asked me what I wanted from him.  At that moment, my spiritual guidance directed me to say, that I wanted to go into his private vault, review and copy some materials.

He then brought up my dream. I told him that it had just come to me without any contemplation on my part.  Mr. Hall explained that he had a vision about the physical structure of the PRS, nearly six years before he had built it, in the 1930s. Yet, he did not build it in the manner he had originally envisioned due to a lack of funds. Even though his earliest vision for the PRS came to him in the 1920s well before I was born in 1949, my dream ironically outlined the details of his original vision.

He gave me permission to go into his inner vault and copy whatever I wished with the agreement that I would not set any of these rare materials into print and sell them as long as he was alive. You see, the reprinting of these old books was the manner by which the PRS was funded. Up until that time, I was the only person who had been allowed to enter Hall’s inner vault, remove the holdings and make copies of old manuscripts and books. It was a unique privilege that I hold sacred to this day. With great care, I copied rare writings of the alchemists from the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s along with other, one-of-a-kind manuscripts.

I was led by my spiritual guidance on precisely what to choose, and then spent approximately six months copying those materials from the vault.  One intriguing notebook within the inner vault of Manly P. Hall had the following words on its spine, “Last Minute Material Arrived Late to the Printer to be Included in the Secret Teachings Book -1928.”  This material and has never previously been published

Mr. Hall passed away at 89 years old in 1990.  The PRS never referred or printed the material from this notebook.  Now after 42 years I decided to self-publish the materials I found in Manly P. Hall’s personal vault.  Mr. Hall explained in a conversation we had together that he had decided to share the abovementioned content in a series of lectures. Only some of the words he shared in his lectures would have appeared within the ‘Secret Teachings of All Ages’ book, yet this lecture series contained in my book, allowed Mr. Hall to expand on the content he wished to include.

Within the series of lectures included in my book, Manly Hall stated, regarding the Secret Teachings of All Ages and Times, “This book is like unto a door— a gate, in some old sanctuary, containing within it a wealth of imagery; a wealth of mysteries, designs and figures. When you have wandered therein you might say to yourself; ‘I wish I had a guide to tell me what these things mean.’ And you will find your guide to be your own rational soul.” 

I am presenting this material exactly as it was typed out in 1928.  My book, “Manly P. Hall’s Unpublished Pages of The Secret Teachings of All Ages,” is available HERE and at www.lesscomplicated.net.   Steven A. Ross, Ph.D.