Wisdom Literature and Philosophical Esoterica—Revealed! - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Wisdom Literature and Philosophical Esoterica—Revealed!

Visit a repository of everything you're not supposed to know.

philosophy: from Greek philosophia, "a love of wisdom."​

Truth seekers unite! Join Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles on an exclusive visit to the Mayan-inspired, historic headquarters of the Philosophical Research Society to explore the unique collections of its extensive library.

The library, designed by renowned architect Robert Stacy-Judd, was built in 1935. Its collection grew book by book, building on the great truths of illuminated thinkers such as Pythagoras, Plato, Buddha, Confucius, Hermes, Aristotle, Jesus and Mohammed—along with other prophets and sages—and featured complementary studies such as alchemy, freemasonry, and all manner of esoteric phenomena.

Founder and indefatigable wisdom scholar Manly P. Hall traveled the world over to uncover secret texts and art objects worthy of the library’s storied caliber.

During our private visit, we'll be guided through the collection by Dr. Greg Salyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Philosophical Research and Philosophical Research Society and PRS Librarian Cathy Willis, MLS, who will also grant us access to the famed PRS Special Collections

Joining us will be Mitch Horowitz—author of Occult America and thought leader on mysticism, esoterica, and humankind's search for meaning. As a special treat while he's visiting from NYC, he'll give a talk about PRS founder Manly P. Hall’s writings on The Secret Destiny of America and The Secret Teachings of All Ages

We'll leave plenty of time for a Q & A before we part ways, and ticketed guests are welcome to stay and attend Horowitz's public lecture on mysticism in our nation, later that evening from 7-8:30 p.m.

Finally, we'll also be joined by PRS Artist-in-Residence and Curator David Orr, who'll show us some of the rare texts from the collection that inspired his works in the PRS Art Gallery's current exhibit "Illumined" (which will also be available for our group to view).


  • As the topics discussed are somewhat sophisticated, this event is not appropriate for children under 18. 
  • PRS is dedicated to being a place for learning and for “drawing out” (as in the original sense of “educate”) the wisdom that lies within all traditions and all human beings. It is non-partisan and does not endorse any one particular tradition or person.
  • Please be respectful of your surroundings and of beliefs that may be different from yours.
  • Public access to the PRS library is limited to Tuesday nights and Fridays, or throughout the week by appointment. This event has been specially curated for the Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles to provide our guests with a one-of-a-kind experience. 
  • Guests may arrive early to visit the PRS Bookstore, where items will be for sale.
  • Each attendee will receive a complimentary gift (an artwork reproduction by famed illustrator J.A. Knapp from The Secret Teachings of All Ages).
  • Photography encouraged! Tag @atlasobscura #atlasobscura


Email Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein at sandi@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.