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Organization:  The Mayan Order 


Summary: 
Lessons, with their necessary concomitants of mailorder and mass advertising, were a scalable forcemultiplier and the lifeblood of twentiethcentury commercial New Thought and occultism. Their power and financial benefit had been brought to the fore by
Sydney B. Flower in his The MailOrder Business: A Series of Lessons (1902),
and lessons became a staple item in the business model of the New Thought/occult world.
No one did them better or more successfully than Rose Dawn and Koran in these Mayan Order Lessons. As John B. Buescher has learnedly and entertainingly documented in his forthcoming Radio Minds: Clairvoyants on the Air in Early Broadcasting (McFarland & Co., 2020), William Perry Taylor (18971953), who toured the vaudeville circuits as the clairvoyant "Prince Rajbar Mahendra" and "Koran the Mystic," and Isabelle Madge Coutant Kruschke Mullens [Taylor (?)] (18971964), a showgirl and singer who called herself "Rose Dawn" or "Rose Dawn the Star Girl," came together while appearing on John R. Brinkley's XER/XERA borderradio station across from Del Rio, Texas, in the mid1930s. They were a whirlwind of creative commercialism, offering psychic readings, astrological advice, instructions in fortunetelling, books on making one's personality blossom like a flower, magic vials of exotic perfume, and a "Rose Dawn Giant Daily Astrological Guide," complete with a "Good Luck Affirmation," as well as publishing Rose Dawn's Modern Astrology and, from 1937, her Daily Meditation. In 19351936, Koran and Rose Dawn branched into "Mayanry" (as they called it), although neither had any discernable connection with anything Mayan  other than a familiarity with Augustus Le Plongeon's works and a brief visit to President Cárdenas in Mexico City in 1936 with a tourist visit to the Aztec ruins there. People were introduced to the Order by the offer of a "free" book (Revelation Secret, below) sent for a dollar that promised to reveal the secret "easy to use principles of selfimprovement taught by the Mayan Order," the precepts of which led to confidence, health, a guaranteed increase in income, and general success, all "based upon" "the traditional wisdom of that mysterious race of astrologers and temple builders." No explanation was offered about where the Order had come upon this traditional wisdom and no claim was made that the largely anonymous leaders had been initiated into the Mayan Mysteries by some surviving Mayans or existing secret group. The offer was advertised nationwide in popular magazines ("Would you Gamble 3 cents to win Happiness"  a line Charles Atlas had pioneered earlier to entice people to his bodybuilding lessons: "Would You Gamble 2 cents to Win a Body Like Mine?")  and on Rose and Koran's radio shows and in Rose's Modern Astrology monthly. Interested inquirers would receive a formal application urging them to ask for admission  for a $10.00 application fee, and if found worthy, received a certificate of membership (suitable for framing) and agreed to pay monthly dues of $2.50, together with other fees as they advanced through the 10 degrees of the Order.
Thereafter, as the Order stressed, all instructions (the Mayan Order Lessons) were free:
Rose and Koran had obviously learned much from the travails of Brinkley, the "Goat Gland Doctor," in his legal struggles with the federal government. It is hard to prove fraud when the monthly dues only entitled the members to bare membership. Probably for the same reasons, the Order was a black box, almost totally (and deliberately) anonymous and impervious to inquiry or investigation. Rose Dawn appears in the lessons as "Official Scribe" and "P.T. Koran" is once listed as "Grand Master," and Rose ascended to "Supreme Leader" after Koran's death in 1953, but that is all. The lessons are signed by "Your Instructor" or "Your Class Instructor," and it is impossible to say who actually wrote them or what the instructor's relationship might have been to the Mayan Order. Members had no contact with other members and little with the Order beyond their applications and monthly dues, receipt of lessons and passwords by mail (the passwords, sent in pigpen cipher: Lesson 5, to be recited mentally at initiations) and the occasional achievement form to fill out and mail to San Antonio:
This parsimonious approach to membership service obviously cut down on the Order's overhead and, unlike some other mailorder lesson enterprises, must have required no large bevy of secretaries to combine prewritten sections into personal letters to members. The Order was really a creation of the members' imaginations and inner visualizations and every effort was made to impress on them that they were not alone. Members were inducted (it was said) in groups of 100 and the lessons tantalizingly held out the achievements of others of a member's group ("when you received the 3rd Degree, some members of your class reported the most wonderful Experiences") to create the illusion of a large body of likeminded seekers working together toward common ends. Initiations were held on a date stamped in a member's lessons and at a precise time (12 minutes before midnight) so that all the members of the group could, in imagination, experience the work together. The first three degrees of the Order were given together, with the remaining degrees given in pairs (45, 67, 89) until the neophyte achieved the 10th degree. All were preceded by "special" instructions and the communication of the password for that degree. At the specified time (midnight central standard time) on the date given the member's group (supposedly), the neophyte would enter his prepared sanctum at home with an altar and incense and a varying numbers of candles, and visualize himself in a cave with thousands of companions (Lesson 31), reach out in his imagination to take the hand of the companions who had come to initiate or be initiated with him, reciting the password for that degree, and then imagine himself in a long winding line of seekers as they progressed through seven gates — of wicker alabaster, ebony, etc., to the place of initiation (Lesson 72), all the while reciting by candlelight the text provided by the Order in that lesson. This whole process was not unlike that of other groups, the H.B. of L., for example, although the Mayan Order did not send out with its preparatory material a vial of hashish solution to add verisimilitude to the experience. Each degree in turn had its own "Philosophy," which was expounded in following lessons until the seeker came to the next degree. This was standard magical New Thought and had almost nothing to do with anything Mayan other than the glyphs on the covers of the lessons. Mayanry was simply a superficial coating atop standard New Thought and without it it would have been impossible to distinguish the material of the lessons from the teachings of any of dozens of New Thought teachers: Man has "a Conscious Mind and a SubConscious Mind. And above these, you have a Spirit and a Soul. The Mind, in its dual capacity, is conditioned by the immortal Soul and receives its power through the Spirit." The key to practical control of the Mind were Will and Desire: "DO AS THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW," a watchword attributed in the lessons to "one ancient Wisdom School." There is no limit to what Mind can materialize, and the Order stressed "THE UNREALITY OF THE ‘REAL.''' "First you must conceive the desire. Desire is formed in the intellect and nurtured in Spirit. If the desire is strong, it will grow like a fertile seed in good soil. Mind Materializes."
The lessons referenced for these truths standard works like Thomas Jay Hudson's Law of Psychic Phenomena (1892) and minor Christian New Thought writers like Warren Hilton (Mind Mastery, 1914), and recited the standard truisms like "Thoughts ARE Things." The fictional Mayan Master "Moo Lu Akin" occasionally put in an appearance in the lessons, but what he expounded was simple New Thought, and as time progressed, the lessons increasingly dropped the "Mayan" garb and became more exclusively Christian (Rose was a Methodist). Curiously, the lessons have nothing to say about spiritualism – although it is clear that the "companions" of the Mayan Order who overwatched the progress of the neophytes were intended to be seen as existing on some other, nonmaterial plane. The goal of the Mayan Order Lessons was to realize "The Mayan Life, a System for Living," "Maximum Living"  to conceive of and Will the full development of the student's talents, his "Working Capital." Success was guaranteed by "a Certificate of Guarantee, backed by Universal Wisdom," and was achieved by reading and rereading the Lessons and by thrice daily meditations at the times of the "Angelus Calls" (dawn, noon, and evening). The themes for the meditations could be had from Rose's companion Daily Meditation magazine, which gave daily thoughts for the month. The Mayan Order also occasionally touted the ability of members to achieve more properly "occult" goals like clairvoyance and astral travel, and included in the lessons things like "Special Private Instructions: SuperSensory and ExtraSensory Perception" and the like, illustrating the results to be achieved by reference to the wonders achieved by people like Washington Irving Bishop and Dr. Rhine. The Lessons were frequently reprinted by the Order and bear copyright dates ranging from 1936 into the 1960s. Like many other organizations (like R.S. Clymer's Rosicrucians), the Order stressed that the Lessons were only lent to the students and had to be returned to the Order on demand.
(Which, by reference to Lesson 5, the student could determine to mean "In Love and Grace.") Note: The Order reissued lessons periodically, so numbering sequence and publication sequence are different in many cases. For a dated sample, consult this data set. 
Issues (in serial order):  Mayan Order Revelation Secret 
Mayan Order Lesson 01  
Mayan Order Lesson 02  
Mayan Order Lesson 03  
Mayan Order Lesson 04  
Mayan Order Lesson 05  
Mayan Order Lesson 06  
Mayan Order Lesson 07  
Mayan Order Lesson 08  
Mayan Order Lesson 09  
Mayan Order Lesson 9a  
Mayan Order Lesson 9b  
Mayan Order Lesson 10  
Mayan Order Lesson 10a  
Mayan Order Lesson 10b  
Mayan Order Lesson 11  
Mayan Order Lesson 12  
Mayan Order Lesson 13  
Mayan Order Lesson 14  
Mayan Order Lesson 15  
Mayan Order Lesson 16  
Mayan Order Lesson 17  
Mayan Order Lesson 18  
Mayan Order Lesson 19  
Mayan Order Lesson 20  
Mayan Order Lesson 21  
Mayan Order Lesson 22  
Mayan Order Lesson 23  
Mayan Order Lesson 24  
Mayan Order Lesson 25  
Mayan Order Lesson 26  
Mayan Order Lesson 27  
Mayan Order Lesson 28  
Mayan Order Lesson 29  
Mayan Order Lesson 30  
Mayan Order Lesson 31  
Mayan Order Lesson 32  
Mayan Order Lesson 33  
Mayan Order Lesson 34  
Mayan Order Lesson 35  
Mayan Order Lesson 36  
Mayan Order Lesson 37  
Mayan Order Lesson 38  
Mayan Order Lesson 39  
Mayan Order Lesson 40  
Mayan Order Lesson 41  
Mayan Order Lesson 42  
Mayan Order Lesson 43  
Mayan Order Lesson 44  
Mayan Order Lesson 45  
Mayan Order Lesson 45 Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 46  
Mayan Order Lesson 46 Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 47  
Mayan Order Lesson 47 Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 48  
Mayan Order Lesson 48 Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 49  
Mayan Order Lesson 50  
Mayan Order Lesson 51  
Mayan Order Lesson 52  
Mayan Order Lesson 53  
Mayan Order Lesson 53 Special Monograph  
Mayan Order Lesson 54  
Mayan Order Lesson 54 Special Monograph  
Mayan Order Lesson 55  
Mayan Order Lesson 55 Special Monograph  
Mayan Order Lesson 55 Special Monograph Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 56  
Mayan Order Lesson 56 Special Monograph  
Mayan Order Lesson 57  
Mayan Order Lesson 58  
Mayan Order Lesson 59  
Mayan Order Lesson 60  
Mayan Order Lesson 61  
Mayan Order Lesson 62  
Mayan Order Lesson 62 Alt  
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Mayan Order Lesson 66  
Mayan Order Lesson 67  
Mayan Order Lesson 67 Alt  
Mayan Order Lesson 68  
Mayan Order Lesson 69  
Mayan Order Lesson 70  
Mayan Order Lesson 71  
Mayan Order Lesson 71 Supplement 1  
Mayan Order Lesson 71 Supplement 2  
Mayan Order Lesson 71 Supplement 3  
Mayan Order Lesson 72  
Mayan Order Lesson 73  
Mayan Order Lesson 74  
Mayan Order Lesson 74 Alt  
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Mayan Order Lesson 75 Alt  
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Mayan Order Lesson 76 Alt  
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