Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture, and the environment to crime, politics, and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California, and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall.
Presentation: Master of Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall
In 1919, a Canadian teenager with a sixth-grade education arrived by train to the wilds of Los Angeles. Within a decade he had transformed himself into a world-renowned luminary and occult scholar. His name was Manly Palmer Hall, author of the landmark encyclopedia The Secret Teachings of All Ages and the 20th century’s most prolific writer and speaker on ancient philosophies, mysticism, and magic. Hall revealed to thousands how universal wisdom could be found in the myths and symbols of the ancient Western mystery teachings. He amassed the largest occult library west of the Mississippi and founded The Philosophical Research Society in 1934 for the purpose of providing seekers rare access to the world’s wisdom literature. He became a confidante and friend to celebrities and politicians. In 1990, he died — some say he was killed — in what remains an open-ended Hollywood murder mystery. Louis Sahagun presents the dramatic story of Hall’s life and death and provides a panorama of twentieth century mysticism and an insider’s view into a subculture that continues to have a profound influence on movies, television, music, books, art, and thought.