Robinson, Frank B. (Frank Bruce), b. 1886

Psychiana Collection

1932
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 502

Moved by a vision in which he saw himself as the head of a new religion, Frank Bruce Robinson established Psychiana soon after moving to Moscow, Idaho, in 1928-1929. Once established, word about the religion spread quickly, primarily through advertisements Robinson placed in newspapers and magazines. Within the first year more than 600,000 students in 67 countries were receiving his printed lessons. Robinson’s launching of Psychiana could not have been better timed. The Great Depression provided a ready-made audience eager to grasp onto his message of “health, wealth, and prosperity” achieved by positive affirmations and self help.

This collection consists of 16 lessons in the Psychiana Advanced Course printed in 1932.

Background on Psychiana Collection

The son of an English fire and brimstone Baptist preacher, Frank Bruce Robinson founded Psychiana, a mail-order religion based in Moscow, Idaho, in 1928 after he became disenchanted with organized religion. Instead of belief in concepts such as heaven and hell, Psychiana believes avows that anyone can enjoy life in the moment through the power of positive affirmation, and promises health and material prosperity in return. The name Psychiana came to him Robinson a dream. Robinson’s initial investment of $2,500 allowed him to publish an ad in the nationally published Psychology, 1,000 lesson plans, and 10,000 form letter responses from which he netted $23,000, according to his biography. The founding of Psychiana coincided with the start of the Great Depression creating an audience open to his message. By the end of its first year, Psychiana had subscribers in 67 different countries and by the early-1930s, so much mail was coming in – up to 60,000 pieces a day – that the town of Moscow had to upgrade their post office to a larger facility. Psychiana shut its doors in 1952 after Robinson’s death in 1948, but not before having distributed about one million of his publications and receiving praise from Benito Mussolini. Robinson claimed that Psychiana was the eighth largest religion in the United States, and the largest mail-order religion in the world.

Contents of Collection

This collection contains 16 lessons from the Psychiana Advanced Course printed in 1932.

Collection inventory

Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 1
1932
Folder 1
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 2
1932
Folder 2
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 3
1932
Folder 3
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 4
1932
Folder 4
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 5
1932
Folder 5
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 6
1932
Folder 6
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 8
1932
Folder 7
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 12
1932
Folder 8
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 13
1932
Folder 9
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 14
1932
Folder 10
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 15
1932
Folder 11
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 16
1932
Folder 12
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 17
1932
Folder 13
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 18
1932
Folder 14
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 19
1932
Folder 15
Psychiana Advanced Course Number 1: Lesson 20
1932
Folder 16

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Acquired by Stephen Resnick, Apr 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Joanna Nevins, Mar 2018.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Psychiana Collection (MS 502). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Acquired from Stephen Resnick, Apr. 2006

Subjects

  • Psychiana movement

Contributors

  • Robinson, Frank B. (Frank Bruce), b. 1886

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