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Periodical: The Occult Digest

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Occult Digest, The.
A Monthly Digest for Everybody / Dedicated to the Laws of Higher Mind-Soul Expansion / A Periodical of Reprint and Research.
The One Magazine that is Daringly Different. We Stand for Truth Unmasked. Make the World Safe for Intelligence
1925--1947 Monthly, then quarterly
Chicago, IL. Publisher: Occult Digest Company; 1939 on: Maha Publishing Company.
Editor: Effa E. Danielson; Jacob E. Bonggren, Chell Crozier assistant editors; Ross K. New, managing editor; Marie Harlowe. Succeeds: Psychic Leader-->Psychic Power (1925); The Telepathic Magazine (merged into, 1939) Succeeded by: World Philosophy/Buddhist World Philosophy
1/1, January 1925-23/1, January-March 1947. 42 pp. (reduced during the Depression to 16 pp.), 8 1/2 x 11.
$3.00 a year, 25 cents a copy.

This is the finest example of the transformation of spiritualist and occult journals into commercial vehicles addressed to the American mass market. It was well laid out and, at least in the first few months, had beautiful color covers (they vanished when the magazine cut back in 1926). Although the journal carried articles by or excerpts from some notable authors--"Frater Achad" (Charles Stansfield Jones, whose "The Chalice of Ecstacy. A Magical Interpretation of 'Parzival'" ran throughout 1926), C.H.A. Bjerregaard, Max Heindel, Rudolf Steiner, Annie Besant, Sherwood Anderson(!), Brown Landone, Elbert Benjamine, Sylvan J. Muldoon, Krishnamurti, Holden E. Samson, Ida Mingle, Dion Fortune, Franz Hartmann, A.E. Waite, H. Spencer Lewis, W.J. Colville, Israel Regardie, Reuben Swinburne Clymer, Max Freedom Long, et al.--these were mere window dressing for advertisements and a stream of articles by unknown pulp authors (probably paid per word or by allowing them free advertising space for their books and lessons) who wrote on numerology, spirit photography, astrology, astral travel, palmistry, slate writing (with photographs of slates), "Rudolph Valentino's Last Message to the World," and especially sex. The journal regularly featured articles (or short fiction) on Kundalini, "The Astral Lover," the danger of being "Vamped" by ghosts, "An Occult Interpretation of Life's Secrets: Sex the Mystery of Mysteries Revealed," and the like. Like The New York Magazine of Mysteries which preceded it by a decade, the Occult Digest carried a massive number of advertisements for everything from trumpets through which spirits could communicate to "The French Method to Develop Your Bust," mail-order know how, "Electric Health Generators," "Perfect Vision without Glasses," means of enhancing magnetic attraction between the sexes, etc. Throughout it all, Mrs. Danielson (1869-1939), who began as a medium in St. Louis before moving to Chicago, contributed editorials on "The Aquarian Age," "The War against Progress," liberalized divorce, opposition to capital punishment, and the like--all throwbacks to the reform heyday of early spiritualism. On Danielson, see the note under Psychic Power. The journal under her aegis ceased with 15/6, June 1939, and Danielson died on October 9th. The journal was then taken up by Marie Gossett Harlowe (Pulley?), 1902-1986, the MaHa of the publishing company. Harlowe was spiritual lecturer and perhaps medium, anti-vivisectionist and anti-Catholic, and Unity teacher, who had written for Rays for the Rosy Cross, Philosopher's Stone, and Rosicrucian Digest. She was a notable racist (writing on "the Rising Tide of Color, an occult consideration of the racial question") and anti-semite, first publishing her pamphlet on "The End of the Jewish Question" in 1919 and keeping it in print thereafter. Her goal, she said, was not to re-hash the issue of Jewish Bankers but to show the inner, karmic reasons for the "problem," in the process proving that Jesus was not a Jew and offering the karmic reasons for for the necessity of Hitler. She began the Telepathic Magazine in June 1938. The next year she took over the Occult Digest and merged her journal into it, cheapening the paper, reducing the page size to 5 x 8 and the number of pages to 30, and eliminating the fancy illustrations and penny-a-word articles. Harlowe was obviously in desperate straits to make a go of the journal, lecturing her subscribers on "rats leaving sinking ships" and offering a "life subscription" to the magazine for $100.00--certainly an unpromising investment. The journal survived into 1942 and was revived for a few issues after the war before being absorbed into World Philosophy/Buddhist World Philosophy, which was published by Harlowe and her perhaps husband William Sande Pulley (Bhikkhu Anuruddha, 1911-) Bonggren (1854-1940), one of the editors, is notable because of a letter he addressed to The Canadian Theosophist in 1940 discussing the rules (abstinence from meat, alcohol and sex--or at least from illegal sexual activity) in the early Theosophical Society, of which he was a member in the 1880s, and the structure of grades of initiation through which the members were to progress. NYPL; LOC; Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL; Harvard University; University of Illinois; Ohio State University; Free Library of Philadelphia; University of Waterloo.

Issues:Occult Digest V1 N1 Jan 1925
Occult Digest V1 N2 Feb-mar 1925
Occult Digest V1 N3 Apr 1925
Occult Digest V1 N4 May 1925
Occult Digest V1 N5 Jun 1925
Occult Digest V1 N6 Jul 1925
Occult Digest V1 N7 Aug-sep 1925
Occult Digest V1 N8 Oct 1925
Occult Digest V1 N9 Nov 1925
Occult Digest V1 N10 Dec 1925
Occult Digest V2 N1 Jan 1926
Occult Digest V2 N2 Feb 1926
Occult Digest V2 N3 Mar 1926
Occult Digest V2 N4 Apr 1926
Occult Digest V2 N5 May 1926
Occult Digest V2 N6 Jun 1926
Occult Digest V2 N7 Jul 1926
Occult Digest V2 N8 Aug 1926
Occult Digest V2 N9 Sep 1926
Occult Digest V2 N10 Oct 1926
Occult Digest V2 N11 Nov 1926
Occult Digest V3 N1 Jan 1927
Occult Digest V3 N2 Feb 1927
Occult Digest V3 N3 Mar 1927
Occult Digest V3 N4 Apr 1927
Occult Digest V3 N5 May 1927
Occult Digest V3 N6 Jun 1927
Occult Digest V3 N7 Jul 1927
Occult Digest V3 N8 Aug 1927
Occult Digest V3 N9 Sep 1927
Occult Digest V3 N10 Oct 1927
Occult Digest V3 N11 Nov 1927
Occult Digest V3 N12 Dec 1927
Occult Digest V4 N7 Jul 1928
Occult Digest V4 N11 Nov 1928
Occult Digest V5 N1 Jan 1929
Occult Digest V5 N2 Feb 1929
Occult Digest V5 N3 Mar 1929
Occult Digest V5 N4 Apr 1929
Occult Digest V5 N5 May 1929
Occult Digest V5 N6 Jun 1929
Occult Digest V5 N7 Jul 1929
Occult Digest V5 N8 Aug 1929
Occult Digest V5 N9 Sep 1929
Occult Digest V5 N10 Oct 1929
Occult Digest V5 N11 Nov 1929
Occult Digest V5 N12 Dec 1929
Occult Digest V6 N3 Mar 1930
Occult Digest V6 N5 May 1930
Occult Digest V6 N8 Aug 1930
Occult Digest V6 N9 Sep 1930
Occult Digest V7 N10 Oct 1931
Occult Digest V7 N11 Nov 1931
Occult Digest V7 N12 Dec 1931
Occult Digest V7 N1 Jan 1931
Occult Digest V7 N2 Feb 1931
Occult Digest V7 N3 Mar 1931
Occult Digest V7 N7 Jul 1931
Occult Digest V7 N8 Aug 1931
Occult Digest V7 N9 Sep 1931
Occult Digest V8 N1 Jan 1932
Occult Digest V8 N2 Feb 1932
Occult Digest V8 N3 Mar 1932
Occult Digest V8 N4 Apr 1932
Occult Digest V8 N5 May 1932
Occult Digest V8 N6 Jun 1932
Occult Digest V8 N7 Jul 1932
Occult Digest V8 N8 Aug 1932
Occult Digest V8 N9 Sep 1932
Occult Digest V8 N10 Oct 1932
Occult Digest V8 N11 Nov 1932
Occult Digest V8 N12 Dec 1932
Occult Digest V9 N1 Jan 1933
Occult Digest V9 N1 Jan 1933 Alt
Occult Digest V9 N2 Feb 1933
Occult Digest V9 N3 Mar 1933
Occult Digest V9 N4 Apr 1933
Occult Digest V9 N5 May 1933
Occult Digest V9 N6 Jun 1933
Occult Digest V9 N6 Jul 1933
Occult Digest V9 N8 Aug 1933
Occult Digest V9 N9 Sep 1933
Occult Digest V9 N10 Oct 1933
Occult Digest V9 N11 Nov 1933
Occult Digest V9 N12 Dec 1933
Occult Digest V10 N1 Jan 1934
Occult Digest V10 N3 Mar 1934
Occult Digest V10 N4 Apr 1934
Occult Digest V10 N11 Nov 1934
Occult Digest V11 N5 May 1935
Occult Digest V11 N7 Jul 1935
Occult Digest V11 N8 Aug 1935
Occult Digest V11 N9 Sep 1935
Occult Digest V11 N10 Oct 1935
Occult Digest V11 N11 Nov 1935
Occult Digest V11 N12 Dec 1935
Occult Digest V13 N1 Jan 1937
Occult Digest V13 N3 Mar 1937
Occult Digest V14 N3 Mar 1938
Occult Digest V14 N5 May 1938
Occult Digest V16 N10 Oct 1940
Occult Digest V16 N11 Nov 1940
Occult Digest V16 N7 Jul 1940
Occult Digest V16 N8 Aug 1940
Occult Digest V16 N9 Sep 1940
Occult Digest V17 N1 Jan 1941
Occult Digest V17 N2 Feb 1941
Occult Digest V17 N3 Mar 1941
Occult Digest V17 N4 Apr 1941
Occult Digest V17 N5 May 1941
Occult Digest V17 N6 Jun 1941
Occult Digest V17 N7 Jul 1941
Occult Digest V17 N8 Aug 1941
Occult Digest V17 N9 Sep 1941
Occult Digest V17 N10 Oct 1941
Occult Digest V17 N11 Nov 1941
Occult Digest V17 N12 Dec 1941

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