The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw an explosion of spiritual teachers and impresarios dealing in “secret wisdom.” Their ranks included hacks and frauds – as well as more than a few genuine scholars of esoteric traditions. Most have vanished from memory, their writings a historical footnote.
There exists one distinct figure, though, whose movement and teachings not only survived his passing but are even experiencing a revival in our day. His name is Manly P. Hall. While few academicians will ever know of him, Hall was among the twentieth century’s – and perhaps any century’s – most commanding and unusual scholars of esoteric and mythological lore. Yet the source of his knowledge and the extent of his virtuosity can justly be called a mystery.